- Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus) - Swedish; 1st Novel
- On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent’s Tail) - Irish; 3rd Novel
- The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press) - American; 4th Novel
- The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador) - Irish; 7th Novel
- Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail) - Canadian; 2nd Novel
- The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) - Irish; 5th Novel
- The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review) - British; 5th Novel
- Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus) - American; 4th Novel
- Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury) - British; 3rd Novel
- Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber) - British; 2nd Novel
- The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - British; 2nd Novel
- The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape) - British; 6th Novel
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker) - American; 1st Novel
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury) - American; 1st Novel
- Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books) - American; 7th Novel
- State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury) - American; 6th Novel
- There but for the by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) - British; 5th Novel
- The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alma Books) - British; 2nd Novel
- Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus) - British; 1st Novel
- The Submission by Amy Waldman (William Heinemann) - American; 1st Novel
So, there it is. That’s the longlist for the Orange Prize in 2012. It’s an interesting list with plenty on it for everyone. I’ve read a few of them already, as you can see by the linkage above. I’ve had a good scout about and read up on all of the other novels and there are many that grab my attention. I’m not saying that I will attempt to read the list, though I may have a crack at the shortlist, but I will certainly grab some of them and dip my toe (see below).
There But For The by Ali Smith. This has been on my radar for quite some time, mainly due to a recommendation from Simon at Savidge Reads. This was then highly corroborated by Patrick Ness in his review for The Guardian and since then the plot has intrigued me. I’ve never read any of Ali’s books and this is the best place to begin. Even without reading it, this has to be one of my favourites to win the prize.
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris. Another book that came to my attention because of Simon (at least he’s good at what he does!). I like the idea of the plot though the length of the book has been putting me off (I have an aversion to long books currently, not sure why) but I really want to read it, especially if it gets to the shortlist – which I believe it will.
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding. I have to admit, I’ve had this one on the TBR for a while now as I received a proof some time ago. It’s definitely a story that interests me and I think it has a good chance of hitting the shortlist. Seeing as I have a copy of it, there’s no excuse not to dive in, eh?!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Greek drama? Yes please. I’ve always been enamoured with Greek history and stories so this got my excitement up. I’m definitely going to have to read this as soon as I can.
The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy. Another intriguing story but this time about a woman fleeing across the Atlantic to the UK as she attempts to escape time as a fake medium. Crime, sex and conning rich people, sounds like a great premise. I’m in.
The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki. I should already have a copy of this winging its way to me (there was a pun in there!) and I’m looking forward to reading about a con man who travels the globe assuming different identities. He leaves wives and children behind as he tries to find himself. It’s the story of a broken man and I like these kinds of stories.
I was a little disappointed by not seeing Eowyn Ivey on the list for The Snow Child, but of course we don’t know what the judges are looking for from the novels. I also expected to see Katie Ward’s ‘Girl Reading’ feature on the list. I still think it’s a great list and it has brought many titles to my attention that would otherwise have slipped past me. The shortlist is announced on 17th April, so I look forward to seeing what the judges highlight and move up.