So here they are. The Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist was announced today at the London Book Fair. The longlist was competitive and somewhat diversified, but the shortlist competition is even stiffer. I was happily surprised to see that Where’d You Go, Bernadette made it to the shortlist, after having read so much about it not being serious enough to be nominated or win a literary prize because of its modern epistolary form. If you read my review you know I loved it and found it refreshing and well-balanced. I haven’t read the others but they have all been moved up to the top of my TBR for 2013. The only real disappointment with the longlist is that it didn’t contain more women writers of colour. Although I was thrilled to see Zadie Smith’s NWon the shortlist. I enjoy her “keep it real” writing. I’m anxious to read this one since the reviews have been mixed. I’m expecting NW to pull me completely out of my comfort zone. I probably won’t get to Bring Up the Bodies this year since I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading Wolf Hall. It looks as if Mantel, Smith, and Kingsolver are the top contenders – Hilary Mantel for winning the Man Booker Prize in 2009 and 2012, Zadie Smith winning the Orange Prize in 2006 for On Beauty, and Barbara Kingsolver winning the Orange Prize in 2010 for The Lacuna. I imagine people are wondering why the Women’s Prize even exists since it doesn’t seem to be a necessity with all the other literary prizes out there that seem to be dominated by women. In my opinion, women’s literary work is still by large ignored and not valued enough. The Women’s Prize will continue to aid in spotlighting some of the best women’s literary work available as well as discovering new writers. Good luck to all those that made the shortlist and may the best woman win. So, what do you think of this shortlist? Are you interested in reading any of them, if so which ones? The judges are Miranda Richardson, (Chair), Actor, Razia Iqbal, BBC Broadcaster and Journalist, Rachel Johnson, Author, Editor and Journalist, JoJo Moyes, Author, and Natasha Walter, Feminist Writer and Human Rights Activist. Ah, you can feel the suspense. Happy reading….