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Donoghue's Room on Orange shortlist
12.04.11 | Katie Allen
Emma Donoghue’s Man Booker-shortlisted Room (Picador) and three debuts have made it onto the shortlist for this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction.
Announced this morning (11th April) at London Book Fair, the debuts are Grace Williams Says It Loud by Sceptre author Emma Henderson, The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) and Annabel by Canadian author Kathleen Winter (Jonathan Cape). The list is completed by Nicole Krauss’ Great House (Viking) and Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love (Bloomsbury).
Bettany Hughes, chair of judges, said: "Our judging meeting fizzed for many hours with conversations about the originality, excellence and readability of the books in front of us —credit to the calibre of submissions this year."
"The clarity and human-understanding on the page is simply breathtaking. The number of first-time novelists is an indicator of the rude health of women's writing. The verve and scope of storylines pays compliment to the female imagination. There are no subjects these authors don't dare to tackle . . . This shortlist should give hours of reading pleasure to the wider world."
Jonathan Ruppin from Foyles added: "It's a fascinating shortlist, a wonderful illustration of the diverse possibilities of the novel. Of course, each author is a wonderful storyteller, but it seems that the judges have been attracted by confident and distinctive voices, by authors capable of captivating their readers' imaginations. I'd imagine the judges will find it very difficult to pick a winner from this field."
The judges, in the 16th year of the prize, also included Liz Calder, founder-director of Bloomsbury Publishing and Full Circle Editions; novelist Tracy Chevalier; actress and writer Helen Lederer; and journalist and broadcaster Susanna Reid.
This year the prize has launched a Facebook campaign; the Orange Book Store is giving away 250 free e-books of last year's winner, The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, exclusively to Facebook fans. After which, fans will be able to purchase the book at a 50% discount for one week only until 18th April. Readers must join www.facebook.com/orangeprize to enter.
Stuart Jackson, Orange brand communications director added, "As we celebrate our 16th year, we have big digital ambitions for the Orange Prize and are delighted to be strengthening our offering through the Orange Book Store and our social media channels. Visitors will be able to download free extracts from the shortlist and purchase the full e-books from the store for their PC, tablet or mobile phone."
The prize, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, is worth £30,000. The winner will be announced on 8th June 2011.