Posts tagged ‘Women’s Prize for Fiction’

January 8, 2020

Bottled Goods by Sophie Van Llewyn

by Team Riverside

Paperback, Fairlight Moderns, £7.99, out nowSophie Van LLewyn BOTTLED GOODS

This little book is written ‘in flash’ meaning that each chapter could be a stand-alone piece of very short fiction, but all together they make sense as a whole novella. The overarching narrative concerns the life of Alina, a teacher living in communist Romania in the 1970s. Her life becomes increasingly unbearable after her brother-in-law flees the country and the communist authorities’ interest in her and her husband grows. As a fan of flash fiction anyway, I enjoyed how the small chapters allowed this tension to build and it was interesting to experience this in a different way to a standard novel. A lot of the chapters also have pretty cool titles, for example, ‘What We Had To Give Away So That We Could Buy a Fourteen-year-old Dacia So that We Would Have an Independent Means of Transportation in order to Flee From the Country.’ That particular chapter is presented as a table, by the way!

Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2019, Bottled Goods is funny in a dark kind of way and also contains elements of magical realism. One character can shrink other people down in order to keep them away from trouble and out of the hands of the secret police. There are other aspects of folklore which pop up in a plot that is otherwise rooted in the harsh reality of communist Romania.

Fairlight Moderns are a new publisher and are obviously ready to take risks on exciting fiction such as this. I think this is great and the longlist for the Women’s Prize shows that it has paid off.

Review by Cat

 

April 18, 2013

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013

by Andre

Hilary Mantel BRING UP THE BODIESKate Atkinson LIFE AFTER LIFE

A M Homes MAY WE BE FORGIVENBarbara Kingsolver FLIGHT BEHAVIOUR

Zadie Smith NWMaria Semple WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

The shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction has been announced and we’ve got all this year’s contenders available at the Riverside – including new paperback editions of the novels by A. M. Homes and Barbara Kingsolver. It’s a strong shortlist – both Zadie Smith and Barbara Kingsolver are previous winners – so Hilary Mantel has a fight on her hands if she’s going to do the treble and add this prize to her Man Booker and Costa for Bring Up the Bodies.

If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of this particular prize in what’s become an increasingly crowded market for literary contests, that’s because you probably got used to calling it the Orange Prize for Fiction (the sponsor pulled out last year). We’ve also got previous winners in stock including last year’s The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht from 2011.