Yes! Finally! Zadie Smith, author of On Beauty, has won the 2006 Orange Prize. The Orange Prize is one of my favourite literary awards. It comes out of the UK and is for women only. Yes, I love women only stuff, as far as I’m concerned there are not enough women oriented awards. What’s extra special about this award is not only is the Orange Prize awarded to women but it’s judged by women.
Thirty-one-year old Zadie Smith has been short listed two other times for the Orange Award but this is her first win. I guess three really is a charm. As the winner she takes home a unique looking bronze statue by the name of ‘Bessie’ and a hefty 30,000 pounds (approximately $55,000 US). That should fill her purse nicely.
On Beauty was released in 2005 and you’ll find more good than bad reviews of it. Basically, it’s about an English scholar with three children who has a midlife crisis about the time one of his son’s finds love on the other side of the globe. It is a book that asks a lot of questions and then forces the characters to look for the answers but it is not meant to drive you to tears. According to Reuters UK it explores “race, class and arrogance at a U.S. university”.
On Beauty is this London author’s third published novel. It was preceded by White Teeth (2000) and The Autograph Man (2002), both successful novels. Zadie Smith has also written and published a number of short stories and essays.
Originally published 6/8/2006 at Literary Fiction, BellaOnline.