Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 Winner Prediction.


Tomorrow (June 6th) The Women’s Prize for Fiction winner will be announced and. as always, the shortlist is a strong one. Here are my reviews of all six books:

Kamila Shamsie – Home Fire

Meena Kandasamy – When I Hit You

Jesmyn Ward – Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Elif Batuman – The Idiot

Imogen Hermes Gowar – The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Jessie Greengrass – Sight

Personally I would like Home Fire to win. It is clever, topical and well written. However I think When I hit You will be the winner as it is also topical, clever, experimental ,darkly humorous  and tackles a taboo subject.

So that’s my prediction:


as for the rest, Although I thought Sing, Unburied, Sing was amazing, the prize tends not to favour books which have won prizes before, The Idiot is too quirky for the prize, The Mermaid is too light heartened and Sight is too experimental.

We’ll see.


The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 Shortlist


Unexpectedly the shortlist was announced early this morning. here it is:

Jessie Greengrass – Sight

Meena Kandasamy – When I Hit You

Jesmyn Ward – Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Kamila Shamsie – Home Fire (proper review soon)

Elif Batuman – The Idiot

Imogen Hermes Gowar – The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Although I plan to read the whole longlist, I’ll give priority to Idiot and Mermaid.


At this point, I can’t really complain. I’m not a huge fan of Sight but I can see why it made the shortlist. I personally hope that When I hit you wins.

Until June 6th ….

Meena Kandasamy – When I Hit You



Book 9/16 from the Women’s Prize Longlist.

The subject of domestic abuse is tricky in literature. From my experience the account could be so highly personal that one feels like a voyeur. Obviously one cannot make such acts humorous due to the serious topic. Kandasamy tackles this differently.


The reader is presented with a series of epigraphs, poems and then chunks of text detailing  four years with an abusive husband. At first the courtship begins with little warning signs, which the narrator ignores but then it escalates and each chapter focuses on the stages of abuse. First the husband bans the narrator from using e-mail, then a laptop to raping and hitting the protagonist.

However sordid this tale, Kandasamy approaches everything using inventive metaphors, and a use of language that is creative, not unlike Arundhati Roy, who is given a namecheck in this book. Here is a story about love gone completely wrong.

My edition of the novel has some writings which detail the type of reader the book is aimed for. The one that struck me, as a male, was the section stating that all males should see the book as a sort of warning sign and as a preventive tale. Personally throughout the novel I kept saying, ‘that’s not me’ and this little piece does reference that but really I should see it as a way to prevent myself becoming an abuser and in that aspect When I hit is a prefect warning.

Chances this will be shortlisted: oh yes!!!!

Other Women’s Prize Reviews:

Rachel Seiffert – A Boy in Winter

Nicola Barker – H(A)PPY

Jessie Greengrass – Sight

Gail Honeyman – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Jesmyn Ward – Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Kamila Shamsie – Home Fire

Arundhati Roy – The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Fiona Mozley – Elmet 

Pulitzer Prize 2018


Tomorrow (April 16th) The Pulitzer Prize winners will be announced. What really concerns me is the concerns me is the fiction prize as the past winners have been top reads. This year I have a gut feeling that  this one will win the category for best fiction:


You can read my review here

Obviously there will be a blog post tomorrow.

Here’s a review of last year’s winner:

2017 : Colson Whitehead – The Underground Railroad


The Man Booker International 2018 Shortlist


Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)

László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)

Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)

Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)

Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)

Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

On the whole I’m pleased. I’ve got The White Book and Vernon Subutex 1 on the TBR pile and a PDF copy of Flights. HOPEFULLY after the Women’s Prize Longlist, I’ll have time to tackle these books.


The Man Booker International 2018 Longlist.


A few minutes ago the Man Booker International Longlist has been announced. This prize focuses on translated fiction. Here’s the Longlist.

Laurent Binet, Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language

Javier Cercas, Frank Wynne, The Impostor

Virginie Despentes, Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1

Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone

Han Kang, Deborah Smith, The White Book

Ariana Harwicz, Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love

László Krasznahorkai, John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On

Antonio Muñoz Molina, Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow

Christoph Ransmayr, Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain

Ahmed Saadawi, Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad

Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft, Flights

Wu Ming-Yi, Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle

Gabriela Ybarra, Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest

Out of  the 13 mention, I have read one. It is highlighted. I DNF’s the Binet as I felt that it too similar to Eco’s books, and yes I know Eco makes a guest appearance in the Binet book.

Die My Love is on the TBR stack.

As for the others, I am very curious about all of them, especially the Han Kang and Virginie Despentes but I’ll have to hold back and wait until the shortlist is announced. I will definitely read the winner.



The Women’s Prize for Fiction: 2018 Longlist





There are two prizes where I can be obsessive about. The first one is the Man Booker and the second is the Women’s Prize for Fiction. In fact, dare I say, that the winners of the latter prize tend to be better than the former.


The longlist was announced and here it is:

H(A)PPY – Nicola Barker

Sight – Jessie Greengrass

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Elmet – Fiona Mozley

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy

Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie

Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward

The above are the ones I’ve read and reviewed, just click on them. Here are the remaining ones:

The Idiot – Elif Batuman

Three Things about Elsie – Joanna Cannon

Miss Burma – Charmaine Craig

Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock – Imogen Hermes Gowar

When I hit you, or Portrait of the Write as a Young Wife – Meena Kandasamy

See what I have done – Sarah Schmidt

A Boy in Winter – Rachel Seiffert

The Trick to Time – Kit de Waal.

So, as I have been doing for the past few years, I will read the remaining titles and write a review. At the moment I have the Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock on the TBR pile but I will try get the remaining seven titles so I can do a batch read.