As if having the award for best fiction written by women wasn’t controversial enough. The UK’s Orange Prize has celebrated their ten year anniversary by choosing the best of best from the last decade.
The 2004 winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, Andrea Levy (Small Island) was their choice.
Small Island follows the life of Queenie Bligh, a young transplanted bride in 1948. Her husband is away and she has to take in some Jamaican borders. The community Queenie lives in isn’t as welcoming. Small world has also won the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Commonwealth prizes.
Andrea Levy lives in London. She has had three other novels as well as short stories published. You can visit her official website to learn more about her.
Previous Orange Prize for Fiction winners (links to Amazon descriptions)
1996 – Helen Dunmore, A Spell of Winter
1997 – Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces
1998 – Carol Shields, Larry’s Party
1999 – Suzanne Berne, A Crime in the Neighbourhood
2000 – Linda Grant, When I lived in Modern Times
2001 – Kate Grenville, The Idea of Perfection
2002 – Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
2003 – Valerie Martin, Property
2005 – Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin
The Orange Prize is won of the most important awards in writing. It was developed because “statistically the considerable achievements of women novelists were often passed over by the major literary prizes”. It is judged by and awarded to women. I just wish it wasn’t limited to novels published in the UK. Update 2014: Orange is no longer the sponsor and the new sponsor is Bailey’s. Read more at the Women’s Prize for Fiction.