There’s a lot of “Will she…?” surrounding this list, so without further ado:
Will Barbara Kingsolver be the first woman to win the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) twice? Up this year for Flight Behaviour, Kingsolver won the Orange Prize in 2010 for her historical novel The Lacuna. To take home the Bessie, she beat out Hilary Mantel (nominated for Wolf Hall).
Will Zadie Smith be the first woman to win the Women’s Fiction Prize twice? Smith first won the Orange Prize in 2006 for On Beauty. Like Kingsolver, she had to beat Hilary Mantel (nominated for Beyond Black) to do so. This year, she’s up for her experimental novel, NW.
Will Bring Up The Bodies score the literary equivalent of an EGOT? In 2012, Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies won both the Man Booker prize and the Costa (formerly the Whitbread). Mantel has been nominated twice before and both times she was beaten out by authors who are also shortlisted this year. Could this be her year?
Will A.M. Homes win and become more of a household name? May We Be Forgiven is the sixth novel by American novelist A.M. Homes. Homes is also the author of The Safety of Objects (which was made into a film in 2003) and The End of Alice. She’s known for being both darkly comic and emotionally effecting. I think May We Be Forgiven is a great read; it would be nice if this competition brings Homes more recognition.
Will this be the first Women’s Prize to go to a former Arrested Development producer? (Okay, I may be reaching here…) Before Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple was known as a TV producer. She worked on Arrested Development (in my books this means she doesn’t have to do anything else in her life ever for her life to be considered well-lived.) Heidi will be thrilled if she wins.
Or… will Kate Atkinson win? Kate Atkinson is already a household name thanks to her Jackson Brodie series. She’s also celebrated – she’s been given the Whitbread Award for her 1995 book Behind the Scenes at the Museum. The NYT Book Review called her nominated novel, Life After Life, “a big book that defies logic, chronology and even history in ways that underscore its author’s fully untethered imagination.” I’m all about that. How about you?
Which book do you predict will win? Answer in the comments below, and if your pick wins, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a super sweet NVCL Book Bag!