Adichie Wins the Orange

And not just a piece of fruit, either. Her book, Half of a Yellow Sun, has won the Orange Prize, and with it, about $60,000 (presumably because of the poetic nature of her prose). From Reuters, via the New York Times (“Nigerian Author Wins Top Women’s Fiction Prize“):

LONDON (Reuters) – Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie landed the Orange Prize on Wednesday, one of the literary world’s top awards given to women writers, for a novel set in the 1960s Biafran civil war.

Orange makes some people see red:

Broadcaster Muriel Gray, who chaired the judging panel for the Orange award, had stirred controversy by complaining that the shortlist emerged from “a lot of dross.”

She said some of the 150 entries for the prize were so bad she could not believe trees had been cut down to publish them.

Too many women, she said, wrote trivial novels inspired by minor domestic problems or crises in their relationships.

But she was fulsome in praise of the winner, saying of Adichie’s novel: “This is a moving and important book by an incredibly exciting author.”

Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy and Lionel Shriver rank as three of the most prominent past winners of the prize which consistently stokes controversy among literary critics and authors.

The late novelist Kingsley Amis once said he would not care to win it if he were a woman. Female author A.S. Byatt said the prize “ghettoized” women.

Bit of a blogging brownout here — I’ve been buried with software testing and related thrills. But I have dozens of brilliants posts just waiting to burst out. One or two, anyway.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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