The Orange Prize for Fiction is the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, and celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The 2011 prize will be awarded on June 8, and the shortlist was announced yesterday:
- Emma Donoghue (Irish) – Room; Picador; 7th Novel
- Aminatta Forna (British/Sierra Leonean) – The Memory of Love; Bloomsbury; 2nd Novel
- Emma Henderson (British) – Grace Williams Says it Loud; Sceptre; 1st Novel
- Nicole Krauss (American) – Great House; Viking; 3rd Novel
- Téa Obreht (Serbian/American) – The Tiger’s Wife; Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st Novel
- Kathleen Winter (Canadian) – Annabel; Jonathan Cape; 1st Novel
I’m really excited about this year’s shortlist. First, because it includes Room, a book I read last year, and really liked (here’s my review). Second, because it includes three debut novels, authors from a nice mix of English-speaking countries, and two of the women from The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” summer fiction issue (Nicole Krauss & Téa Obreht). And third, because so many of the bloggers I admire have read and reviewing the longlist, and they have whetted my appetite. Tuesday brought lots of blog posts debating the selections, wishing some had made it and others hadn’t, etc. I am blissfully ignorant on that scale. And for the first time in several years, all of these titles interest me to some degree. With a nod to Sergei Prokofiev, it’s like “Love for Six Oranges” !
This mighty fine shortlist threw a spanner into my plans for Orange July. I like to devote most of the month to reading Oranges, including the current year’s winner if I haven’t read it already. This year I also intended to read a few nominees from earlier years. But now there are six more nominees, and my local library has them all. Ack! I may take the approach of devoting Orange July to the current year’s short list, and Orange January to the back list. No matter what, I know I’m in for some great reading.
You can read more about this year’s Orange nominees, including loads of reviews, from these fine bloggers:
- Dovegreyreader reviewed Great House and Annabel
- nomadreader reviewed Great House and Room
- Buried in Print reviewed Great House, Annabel, and Grace Williams Says it Loud
- Farmlanebooks read Room, Annabel, Great House,The Tiger’s Wife, The Memory of Love
- The Magic Lasso reviewed The Tiger’s Wife