Bailey's Prize, Reading, Women Writers

The 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize Shortlist

It’s official! The Baileys committee has announced the six nominees featured on its short list (and still in the running for the prize, announced June 7).


Overall, I am pleased with the list (not that anyone asked me). I predicted 3 of the 6 correctly, with a strong agreement for a 4th (“The Sport of Kings”) as my alternate (7th) pick. I believe that “The Power” and “Do Not Say We Have Nothing” are the strongest novels remaining and am hopeful that one may come out on top. The one surprise on this list is the presence of “The Dark Circle”, which I found disappointing and forgettable. It will be hard to wait until June 7 to hear the official pick!

Below is the Short List in its entirety, with links to my review of each.

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Read more here about the shortlist from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction website.

5 thoughts on “The 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize Shortlist”

  1. I’ve read only one of these – “Do Not Say We Have Nothing”- so don’t feel I can judge which are the strongest contenders but the other 5 would have to be pretty remarkable to beat that one


  2. Ooh, I think The Dark Circle has more to it than you give it credit for. I agree that on one reading, it’s easy to put it down and think “well, on to other things”, but I’d argue that that’s in part because all the stuff that’s in it doesn’t rise to the surface, as it does in many of the other shortlisted novels (not that that’s a bad characteristic either). There’s so much to unpack in The Dark Circle about health—both personal and political—agency, Jewishness, aesthetics, history, even architecture. I reckon it would stand up to multiple rereads.


    1. I appreciate hearing what you took from it! I feel like my biggest complaint was the Deus Ex Machina ending, where all of a sudden everything is quickly resolved. But perhaps a second reading would serve me well. Thanks for the input.


  3. Thx for your linked reviews of these. I’m most interested to read Thien’s book and The Power, but I will be curious of your review of The Sport of Kings. Will the fact that Thien won the Giller detract from her getting this award? From what I hear of it, Thien’s novel sounds like it should win.


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