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Baileys Women's Prize 2017 longlist

by Tyler Vitt - Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 at 11:28am

To coincide with International Women's Day, the longlist for the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) was announced yesterday. The award honours the best novel published in English in the past year by a female author, and comes with a £30,000 ($49,000) prize.

Of the 16 authors on the list, we're thrilled to see that three are Canadians: Margaret Atwood, Madeleine Thien, and Heather O'Neill.

The complete longlist can be found after the jump...


  • Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • Little Deaths by Emma Flint
  • The Mare by Mary Gaitskill
  • The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
  • The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
  • Midwinter by Fiona Melrose
  • The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
  • The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill
  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
  • Barkskins by Annie Proulx
  • First Love by Gwendoline Riley
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
  • The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

The finalists will be announced April 7th, and the winner revealed on June 7th. For more information about the Baileys Women's Prize, visit the award's website.

Please note: Some of the titles on the longlist are not yet available in Canada, but North American editions are coming. Contact your nearest McNally Robinson bookstore if you're looking for any of the 2017 Baileys titles.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Literature

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Stay with Me

- Hardcover

by Ayobami Adebayo - $34.95 - Add to Cart

This celebrated, unforgettable first novel ("A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit." -The Guardian), shortlisted for the prestigious Bailey's Prize and set in Nigeria, gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage--and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.  Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage--after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures--Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time--until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin's second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does--but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

The Power

- Hardcover

by Naomi Alderman - $34.00 - Add to Cart

WINNER OF THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power? In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

Hag-Seed

- Hardcover

by Margaret Atwood - Hogarth Shakespeare (series) - $29.95 - Add to Cart

Our greatest literary innovator and beloved novelist has reimagined Shakespeare's final, great play of magic and illusion. Entertaining, gripping, emotionally rich and wise, Hag-Seed is an homage to a master, positioned for the fall celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death.   "It's got a thunderstorm in it. And revenge. Definitely revenge."     Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds.     Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And brewing revenge.     After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his motley crew of inmate actors will put on his Tempest, and snare the traitors who destroyed him. But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall?     Margaret Atwood's novel take on Shakespeare's play of enchantment, revenge and second chances leads us on an illusion-ridden journey filled with new surprises and wonders of its own.- New York Magazine, "15 of the Year's Most Giftable Books"- NPR Best of 2016 (Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, and Realistic Fiction) 

Little Deaths

- Hardcover

by Emma Flint - $34.00 - Add to Cart

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2017 "Riveting."---People magazine It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone--a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress--wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth. As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman--and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance--or is there something more sinister at play? Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.

The Mare

- Trade paperback

by Mary Gaitskill - $22.95 - Add to Cart

One of the Best Books of the YearThe New York Times o The Washington Post o NPR o San Francisco Chronicle o Vanity Fair o Milwaukee Journal Sentinel o Kansas City StarWhen Velveteen Vargas, an eleven-year-old Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn, comes to stay with a family in upstate New York, what begins as a two-week visit blossoms into something much more significant. Soon Velvet finds herself torn between her host family--Ginger, a failed artist and shakily recovered alcoholic; and Paul, a college professor--and her own deeply tormented mother. The one constant becomes Velvet's newly discovered passion for horse riding--and especially for an abused, unruly mare named Fugly Girl. A stirring and deeply felt novel, The Mare is Mary Gaitskill's most poignant and powerful work yet--a stunning exploration of a girl and her horse, and of the way we connect with people from all walks of life.

The Lesser Bohemians

- Hardcover

by Eimear Mcbride - $32.95 - Add to Cart

Shortlisted for The Goldsmith Prize 2016Shortlisted for the 2016 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Eason Novel of the YearThe captivating, daring new novel from Eimear McBride, whose astonishing debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, was an international literary phenomenon and earned the author multiple awards and recognition.Upon arrival in London, an eighteen-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she's always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in -- she's young and unexotic; a naive new girl -- but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.     Then she meets an attractive older man. He's an established actor twenty years her senior, and the inevitable, clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.     A redemptive, captivating story of passion and innocence set across the bedsits of mid-nineties London, McBride holds new love under her fierce gaze, giving us all a chance to remember what it's like to fall hard for another.

The Sport of Kings

- Hardcover

by C.e. Morgan - $36.95 - Add to Cart

The daring, inventive novel (a sprawling family saga set in Kentucky that combines southern gothic with the drama of horse racing) from a brilliant young author named one of The New Yorker's "20 Best Writers Under 40."Here is the ambitious, strikingly original, and dazzling new novel from a young writer whose first novel, All the Living, received passionate praise and rave reviews, and earned her one of the highly coveted spots on The New Yorker's list of the "20 Best Writers Under 40" alongside such peers as Karen Russell, Wells Tower, Téa Obreht, and Dinaw Mengestu. But where that first novel had startling ambition and scope yet strictly contained its remarkable energy within notably spare language and a pared-down setting and time frame, this new novel's energy bursts out of the gate running and gallops through generations, consuming a multitude of characters and plots.      The title The Sport of Kings refers to horse racing, and the novel centres itself within that world: a connected web of humans and animals, as well as a fertile patch of land, in the heart of Kentucky. With breathtaking fluency, C.E. Morgan puts us inside the consciousness of an extraordinary range of characters who inhabit that patch of land through the years: an adolescent trying to grow up under the withering gaze of his landowner father; a brilliant black woman struggling with her seeming fate to be a household servant; a whip-smart boy who grows up in the ghetto but seeks to know more about his mysterious origins; and a girl whose uncompromising love of her family's legacy leads her to gamble with her own life.      C.E. Morgan's writing has been compared to that of Marilynne Robinson and James Salter, and her ability to articulate moments fleetingly observed or sudden subtle changes in tenor and mood has a similar effect of mingled surprise and inevitability. This is writing that, even in its wildest and most southern-gothic moments, contains both the ring of truth and the thrill of discovery.

The Woman Next Door

- Hardcover

by Yewande Omotoso - $27.99 - Add to Cart

Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility and pruning both with a vim and zeal that belies the fact that they are over eighty. But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared. But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship? Or is it too late to expect these two to change?

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

- Hardcover

by Heather O'neill - $32.99 - Add to Cart

Set in Montreal and New York between the wars, a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future, from the bestselling, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author.Exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told, The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. Set in the early part of the 20th Century, it is an unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose fortune hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to escape one's origins. It might also take true love.Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their true talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing for the rich, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. Separated as teenagers, both escape into the city's underworld, where they must use their uncommon gifts to survive without each other. Ruthless and unforgiving, Montreal in the 1930's is no place for song and dance. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes, the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make those dream come true. After Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls hit the stage and the alleys, the underworld will never look the same.With extraordinary storytelling, musical language, and an extravagantly realized world, acclaimed author Heather O'Neill enchants us with her best novel yet -- one so magical there is no escaping its spell.

The Essex Serpent

- Trade paperback

by Sarah Perry - $23.99 - Add to Cart

Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016"I loved this book. At once numinous, intimate and wise, The Essex Serpent is a marvelous novel about the workings of life, love and belief, about science and religion, secrets, mysteries, and the complicated and unexpected shifts of the human heart--and it contains some of the most beautiful evocations of place and landscape I've ever read. It is so good its pages seem lit from within. As soon as I'd finished it I started reading it again."--Helen MacDonald, author of H is for HawkAn exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.When Cora Seaborne's brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy's nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend. While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year's Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart--an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I've read in years" (Daily Telegraph, London).

Barkskins

- Trade paperback

by Annie Proulx - $24.99 - Add to Cart

"Magnificent." (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See) From Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author of The Shipping News and "Brokeback Mountain" comes her masterwork: an epic, dazzling, violent, marvelously dramatic novel about the destruction of the world's forests.In the late seventeenth century, two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in Canada, then known as New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a seigneur, for three years in exchange for land, they become woodcutters--barkskins. Sel suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi'kmaw woman, and their descendants live trapped between two hostile cultures. Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years--their travels across North America, to Europe, China and New Zealand under stunningly brutal conditions--the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence and cultural annihilation. Again and again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face-to-face with possible ecological collapse. Proulx's inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid--in their greed, lust, vengefulness or their compassion and hope--that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable and compelling American writers, and Barkskins is her greatest novel, a superb marriage of history and imagination.

First Love

- Trade paperback

by Gwendoline Riley - $21.99 - Add to Cart

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for FictionCatastrophically ill-suited for each other, and forever straddling a line between relative calm and explosive confrontation, Neve and her husband, Edwyn, live together in London. For the moment they have reached a place of peace in their relationship, but past battles have left scars. As Neve recalls the decisions that brought her to Edwyn, she describes other loves and other debts--from her bullying father and her self-involved mother, to a musician she struggled to forget.  Drawing us into the battleground of this marriage, Gwendoline Riley tells a transfixing story of mistakes and misalliances, of helplessness and hostility, in which both husband and wife have played a part. Could this possibly be, nonetheless, a story of love?

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

- Hardcover

by Madeleine Thien - $35.00 - Add to Cart

Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, this extraordinary novel tells the story of three musicians in China before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.   Madeleine Thien's new novel is breathtaking in scope and ambition even as it is hauntingly intimate. With the ease and skill of a master storyteller, Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations--those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century. With exquisite writing sharpened by a surprising vein of wit and sly humour, Thien has crafted unforgettable characters who are by turns flinty and headstrong, dreamy and tender, foolish and wise.      At the centre of this epic tale, as capacious and mysterious as life itself, are enigmatic Sparrow, a genius composer who wishes desperately to create music yet can find truth only in silence; his mother and aunt, Big Mother Knife and Swirl, survivors with captivating singing voices and an unbreakable bond; Sparrow's ethereal cousin Zhuli, daughter of Swirl and storyteller Wen the Dreamer, who as a child witnesses the denunciation of her parents and as a young woman becomes the target of denunciations herself; and headstrong, talented Kai, best friend of Sparrow and Zhuli, and a determinedly successful musician who is a virtuoso at masking his true self until the day he can hide no longer. Here, too, is Kai's daughter, the ever-questioning mathematician Marie, who pieces together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking a fragile meaning in the layers of their collective story.     With maturity and sophistication, humour and beauty, a huge heart and impressive understanding, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once beautifully intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of daily life inside China, yet transcendent in its universality.

The Gustav Sonata

- Trade paperback

by Rose Tremain - $18.99 - Add to Cart

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award What is the difference between friendship and love? Gustav grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav's father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav's life is a lonely one until he meets Anton. An intense lifelong friendship develops but Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav's are entwined until it is almost too late... 'This is a perfect novel' Observer 'The Gustav Sonata is beautifully rendered, and magnificent in its scope. It glows with mastery' Ian McEwan