Women’s Prize 2022 Longlist Announced

The Women’s Prize is my favorite literary award. I’ve discovered so many wonderful authors just by reading from their longlist each year, and I always enjoy following the award through the year to see which favorites make the shortlist and receive the final prize. The longlist was announced March 8, the shortlist of 6 books will be announced April 27, with a winner announced in June.

The Women’s Prize goes to novels by female authors written in English, regardless of nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter. The books had to be published in the United Kingdom between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 (often these books are published later in the U.S.).

Some favorite authors receiving the award are Tayari Jones, Kamila Shamsie, Helen Dunmore, Barbara Kingsolver, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rose Tremain, Kate Grenville, Ann Patchett and Madeline Miller.

I haven’t read any on this year’s list. Two, by Louise Erdrich and Ruth Ozeki, were already on my TBR list. The remainder are all authors I’ve never read, and most are books I hadn’t even heard of. Usually I know more of them – last year I had already read two.

According to the Women’s Prize, this year’s books “span the globe in their settings, from Trinidad, Cyprus and a dystopian England, to Cape Cod, Buchenwald, and Vietnam. There are five British authors, six Americans, two New Zealanders, one Turkish-British, one American-Canadian, and one Trinidadian writer on the longlist.” Five are debut novelists (Kupersmith, Walton, Capes, Heller are four and I’m not sure who is the fifth). Previously nominated authors are Mendelson, Shafak, Chidgey, Ross, and Elliott. I was very surprised to hear Erdrich hasn’t been nominated before and I also thought Shipstead had been.

Here are the books:

Each year I go through the list and try to read about half. Some people wait for the shortlist, but I often find many of my favorites don’t make the shortlist. Favorites from last year’s list included The Vanishing Half, Transcendent Kingdom, Piranesi, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House and (just finished) Small Pleasures. I enjoyed but was less enthused by Luster, Detransition Baby, and Burnt Sugar.

From this year’s list, I’ll definitely read The Sentence and The Book of Form and Emptiness. Many of the others are not yet available to me, but some that look the most interesting are The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, Creatures of Passage, The Bread the Devil Knead, Sorrow and Bliss, Build Your House Around My Body, and Careless.

Have you read anything from the list, and if so, what do you recommend? Are there any you think you’ll read? Or any you think are missing from the list?

  4 comments for “Women’s Prize 2022 Longlist Announced

  1. March 13, 2022 at 7:24 am

    The Ozeki novel is marvelous – I hope it at least gets on the short list!

  2. March 13, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Looks like a great list to check out. I am not usually up on the latest releases but I have heard of Sorrow and Bliss and was interested. I’ll look forward to you sharing your thoughts about what you do end up reading.

  3. March 15, 2022 at 10:43 am

    There were a lot of surprises for me on this year’s list. Usually, I’ve heard of more of the books. I’ll read whichever book wins because I like this prize.

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