The winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2009, a women only literature award, was announced last week: Home by American writer Marilynne Robinson (a unanimous choice of the judges). Home is Robinson’s third novel, her previous novels being award-winning Housekeeping (1980) and multi award-winning Gilead (2004).
The other five titles on this year’s shortlist were:
- Scottsboro: a Novel by Ellen Feldman (US, 3rd novel)
- The Wilderness: a Novel by Samantha Harvey (UK, first novel)
- The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt (US, 2nd novel)
- Molly Fox’s Birthday by Deidre Madden (Ireland, 7th novel)
- Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan-UK, 5th novel)
Somewhat neglected by the mainstream media (and badly linked on the Orange Prize website itself) was the concurrent announcement of the winner of the Orange Award for New Writers: An Equal Stillness the first novel by Francesca Kay—‘a brilliant evocation of an artist struggling to meet the demands of her domestic life’. Francesca Kay, 51, lives in Oxford.
Two other titles were shortlisted for the New Writers Prize:
- Miles From Nowhere by Nami Mun (South Korea-US, 1st novel)
- The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber (US, 1st novel)
The Orange Prize was set up in 1996 ‘to celebrate and promote fiction written by women throughout the world’. 130 novels were initially submitted for thie year’s prize. The award, which rubs shoulders with the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Costa Book Awards, is one of the most lucrative and respected English language literary prizes. Winners have included Carol Shields and Zadie Smith. Last year’s winner was Rose Tremain for The Road Home. Four years ago the Orange of Oranges Prize was given to Andrea Levy for Small Island. Both these books are held by the library and we hope to acquire both this year’s winning titles.
The Guardian: Marilynne Robinson wins Orange prize
The Independent: Prodigal son parable wins Orange Prize
The Daily Telegraph: Orange Prize won by Pulitzer-winner American Marilynne Robinson