Released on Wednesday, here is the Orange Prize longlist (the UK's only annual book award for fiction written by women):
Leila Aboulela – Lyrics Alley
Carol Birch – Jamrach’s Menagerie
Emma Donoghue – Room
Tishani Doshi – The Pleasure Seekers
Louise Doughty – Whatever You Love
Jennifer Egan – A Visit from the Goon Squad
Aminatta Forna – The Memory of Love
Tessa Hadley – The London Train
Emma Henderson – Grace Williams Says it Loud
Samantha Hunt – The Seas
Joanna Kavenna – The Birth of Love
Nicole Krauss – Great House
Wendy Law-Yone – The Road to Wanting
Téa Obreht – The Tiger’s Wife
Julie Orringer – The Invisible Bridge
Anne Peile – Repeat it Today with Tears
Karen Russell – Swamplandia!
Lola Shoneyin – The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives
Roma Tearne – The Swimmer
Kathleen Winter – Annabel
I haven't even heard of most of these! I have been dying to read Room ever since I read the first chapter on my iPhone/Kindle contraption, and I have seen great reviews for Annabel, Swamplandia!, The Tiger's Wife, The Pleasure Seekers, Visit from the Goon Squad and Great House – but I've not even run across the other ones on any blog, newspaper, anything.! So hopefully this longlist will get them some great publicity!
I want to commit myself to some kind of Orange readathon (particularly as my lovely local library seems to do quite well at getting prize longlisters in stock quickly), but given how much my reading volume is fluctuating at the moment, it's best not to! And with the shortlist announcement on 12 April, it's pretty unrealistic to think that I would get through more than a few.
If I were to, where should I start (after Room. Room would be first on my list)?