Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Prediction

Hello readers,

the shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced tomorrow and, as per usual, I plan on ruining it by attempting to predict it and then raging about the list when I get it wrong. Fun times! As a quick refresher, here are the books that were longlisted:

  • Because of You by Dawn French
  • Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
  • Consent by Annabel Lyon
  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
  • How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
  • Luster by Raven Leilani
  • No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  • Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  • Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
  • Summer by Ali Smith
  • The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Of those, I’ve read Luster, Exciting Times, No One is Talking About This, The Vanishing Half and Unsettled Ground. Based on the books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve seen, my vast experience and my psychic abilities, I predict the shortlisted books will be:

  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
  • Consent by Annabel Lyon

I haven’t read all of those, but these books all give me shortlist vibes. I think the WP historically loves a story about mothers and daughters, so I added both The Vanishing Half (which I’m quite certain will make the list) and Burnt Sugar (which I’m less certain; but there’s always a book I have NO interest in reading and I know I will hate it; this year I think it’s Burnt Sugar). Transcendent Kingdom is a bit of a wild card in the list, but I think it’s one of the best titles and deserves to be there. Detransition, Baby is such a unique book that it MUST make the shortlist! Same goes for Piranesi, the story is so different and magical, I think it will make it. And finally, I haven’t read Consent but it’s the kind of story centered around depressing stuff happening to people, which the prize does seem to love.

My personal rating of the books I’ve read so far is:

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  2. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  3. Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
  4. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  5. Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
  6. Luster by Raven Leilani
  7. No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

From the books I haven’t read, I hope How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones makes the list, because I’d love an excuse to read it (I might anyway), but I haven’t heard much buzz about it and it makes me wonder if it’s because it’s not so good.

Depending on which books make it to the shortlist, I might put an effort to read it entirely until the winner announcement in July. I expect there will be a few I haven’t read yet. This goes a bit against my personal goals of buying books only every season (I bought books in March, so my next shopping would be June/July) and to lower my TBR, but it’s for a good cause, and surely it can’t be that I am entirely wrong on my predictions, surely I only have to buy a couple books??? *sweating*

What are your guesses? Which books do you hope to see in the shortlist?


My other blog posts about this years’ prize:

Reaction Post: Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 Longlist (I Did Kind Of Jinx It)

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 Longlist Prediction (Or: Jinxing the Whole Thing)

3 thoughts on “Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Prediction

  1. I love your Women’s Prize posts, Naty! Happy to see your vast experience and psychic abilities led you to guessing half the list correctly, and that you have an extra excuse to read How the One-Armed Sister…! It is a bit dark and depressing (I think you’re right about the prize loving those) but well-written and compelling, imo. A bit like Shuggie Bain in vibes, though maybe less relentless since it has a larger cast and an array of traumas rather than just the one? I do think it deserving of its slot on the shortlist in any case and look forward to your thoughts if you do pick it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Reacting to the Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist | Naty's Bookshelf

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