As I close in on finishing my third of the six Bailey’s Prize shortlist I decided to take a look to see when the the winner would be announced to see if there was any way in the world I would be able to finish before the announcement. Well, it turns out the answer is no. As most of you probably know, the winner, How to Be Both by Ali Smith, was announced yesterday. If only I had been inspired by Eric’s blog post a little sooner. Then again, I doubt the duration between the announcement of the short list and the winner announcement would have been sufficiently long enough for me anyway.
The real question is how I feel knowing the prize cat is out of the bag. Since I am not even fully half way through reading the shortlist, I will reserve any judgement on the result until I have finished. I was worried that knowing the result would lessen my enthusiasm for reading the rest of the shortlist, but so far I am just as eager, perhaps even more so. I am tempted to say all kinds of things about what I have read so far, but I am going to resist.
Incidentally, Eric was part of a group that conducted their own shadow jury. They had a slightly different shortlist, but their result was the same as the official jury.