An early announcement of the shortlist has sparked quite the debate!
The following books have been shortlisted:
- Sight by Jessie Greengrass
- The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowan
- When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy
- The Idiot by Elif Bautman
- Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
What a diverse bunch! Three out of the six books are debuts (Sight, The Idiot and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock) – what a fantastic accolade to recognise new talent!
So far I have read Home Fire (blew me away!) and the three debuts off the shortlist and loved each of them for very different reasons. Sight (review to come on Friday) was a deep and meaningful exploration into grief and motherhood, The Mermaid was a brilliant piece of historical fiction showcasing the difficulties of ‘keeping’ a woman – whether that be a woman or a mermaid and Sing, Unburied, Sing is a deeply moving tale with a hint of magical realism (follow the link to my review).
I haven’t yet read The Idiot or When I Hit You but they have shot up on the TBR pile. When I Hit You first caught my eye when it was recently shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2018. I was lucky enough to receive the EARC of The Idiot some time ago and despite a number of efforts I haven’t yet plunged my way into it. I am interested in your thoughts on the book if anyone has read it?
Whilst I loved Eleanor Oliphant and Three Things About Elsie I can see why they weren’t shortlisted this year. Both are what is now commonly referred to as ‘uplits’ highlighting their uplifting nature however, in the midst of some really special talent on the longlist I always thought they would struggle.
I’m still a little disappointed that Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends didn’t make it on the longlist as that book has, so far, been my favourite of this year.
What were your thoughts on the longlist and shortlist? Any books which didn’t make it which ought to have done?