The 17th Orange Prize shortlist was announced this morning. One of the most prestigious literary awards, it's awarded to a woman who has produced an outstanding work of fiction, and carries a prize of 30,000 pounds.
Esi Edugyan, Half Blood Blues
Anne Enright, The Forgotten Waltz
Georgina Harding, Painter of Silence (not out in the U.S. until September)
Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
Cynthia Ozick, Foreign Bodies
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder
Ann Patchett is the only previous winner on the list (she won for Bel Canto in 2002). Madeline Miller is the only debut novelist on the list.
Joanna Trollope, Chair of the judging panel, said that it is "a privilege to present" such a varied list, which includes American, British, Irish and Canadian authors and "an age range of close on half a century." The winner will be announced on May 30.
What do you think of the shortlist? Do literary prize nominations make you more interested in a book? Check out last year's longlist for a comparison.
Anyone getting up early tomorrow to watch a webcast of the Nobel Prize announcement?
You can start getting excited for BookPage's "Best of 2010" lists—coming in December!
Trisha posted about the Orange Prize longlist a couple months ago, and today we got some good news—Rosie Alison's The Very Thought of You, one of the shortlisted titles, will be published by Atria in the United States.
Here's a plot summary from British publisher Alma Books UK:
England, 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unravelling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes - and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with unforeseen consequences.
Alison has stiff competition for the Orange Prize; other finalists include Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna); Attica Locke (Black Water Rising); Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall); Lorrie Moore (A Gate at the Stairs); and Monique Roffey (The White Woman on the Green Bicycle). The winner will be announced June 9.
Has anyone snagged a copy of The Very Thought of You from overseas? What'd you think? Any Orange Prize predictions?