The following six books have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2009 award, open to women writing in English:
- Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman, 67, American, 3rd novel, about a journalist’s fight to save nine black youths from the electric chair in 1930s Alabama. A blend of fact and fiction.
- The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey, 33, British, 1st novel, about a man in his early 60s struggling to retain his memories and his identity as Alzheimer’s starts to take hold.
- The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt, 37, American, 2nd novel, about the Serbian scientist, Nikola Tesla, and a woman he meets at the end of his life. A blend of fact and fiction.
- Molly Fox’s Birthday by Deidre Madden, 48, Irish, 7th novel, in which a playwright reflects on the life of her friend, a celebrated actress, and questions why she never celebrates her birthday. Madden has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize before.
- Home by Marilynne Robinson, 62, American, 3rd novel, which tells the story of a prodigal son as he returns home to make peace with his past. Robinson has won many awards, including the Pulitzer, for her previous works.
- Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, 35, Pakistani-British, 5th novel, about a Japanese woman whose world was obliterated at Nagasaki, following her family over 50 years from India to Pakistan, America to Afghanistan.
These titles were chosen by the judges from an original selection of 130 books, which was reduced to a longlist of 20 books (covered here in an earlier post). The winning book will be announced on 3 June. Last year’s winner was Rose Tremain for her tenth novel, The Road Home.
The Guardian: Samantha Harvey shortlisted for Orange prize
The Times: Orange Prize novel Burnt Shadows to be offered as a free download [free download applies only until noon today, Thursday 23 April]
The Independent: Debut novelist shortlisted for Orange Prize
The Daily Telegraph: Debut novelist makes Orange Prize shortlist