Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Orange Prize Shortlist Represents Wide Field

The shortlist for the rich and prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction was announced in London yesterday and both new and established authors were represented. Among the nominees were Ann Patchett who was nominated this year for State of Wonder. Patchett won the Orange Prize in 2002 for Bel Canto.

“This is a shortlist of remarkable quality and variety,” commented bestselling novelist and Orange Prize judge Joanna Trollope. “It includes six distinctive voices and subjects, four nationalities and an age range of close on half a century.”

The Orange Prize was established in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. It is awarded annually for the best novel of the year written by a woman.

Previous winners are Téa Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife (2011), Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (2010), Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006), Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces (1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).

In case you’re wondering about the “Orange” in “Orange Prize,” it is the key brand of the France Telecom Group. According to a release, they have “almost 131 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates.” You can read more about the company, as well as the 2012 nominees, here.

The award ceremony will take place in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 30 May 2012. The winner will be presented with a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as the Bessie and created by artist Grizel Niven.

The 2012 shortlist is as follows:
  • Half Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan
  • The Forgotten Waltz, by Anne Enright
  • Painter of Silence, by Georgina Harding
  • The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
  • Foreign Bodies, by Cynthia Ozick
  • State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett



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