Now in its 15th year, the Orange Prize for Fiction celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing. Any woman writing in English, whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter, is eligible.
The longlist was announced overnight with the shortlist to follow on 20 April. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 9 June, where the prize of £30,000 will be presented.
Author and TV producer Daisy Goodwin, chairwoman of the judges, said it was a “muscular and pleasurable” longlist.
“It was a tough judging process as there was a particularly strong range of books submitted from all over the world,” she said. However, Goodwin also complained about the depressing subject matter of many of the entrants asying she was unprepared for a new problem: the barrage of “misery literature” that came her way. So many of the 129 books entered for the prize dealt with the subjects of bereavement, child abuse and rape that, she said yesterday, “I felt like a social worker by the end of it.” (Read more here or watch the YouTube video of Daisy Goodwin talking about reading 129 novels in 3 months and the longlist meeting)
Also on the judging panel are rabbi, author and broadcaster Baroness Neuberger; novelist and critic Michele Roberts; journalist Miranda Sawyer; and British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman.
- Rosie Alison – The Very Thought of You
- Eleanor Catton – The Rehearsal
- Clare Clark – Savage Lands
- Amanda Craig – Hearts and Minds
- Roopa Farooki –The Way Things Look to Me
- Rebecca Gowers – The Twisted Heart
- MJ Hyland – This is How
- Sadie Jones – Small Wars
- Barbara Kingsolver – The Lacuna
- Laila Lalami – Secret Son
- Andrea Levy – The Long Song
- Attica Locke – Black Water Rising
- Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall
- Maria McCann – The Wilding
- Nadifa Mohamed – Black Mamba Boy
- Lorrie Moore – A Gate at the Stairs
- Monique Roffey – The White Woman on the Green Bicycle
- Amy Sackville – The Still Point
- Kathryn Stockett – The Help
- Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger
And just for a bit of fun, Movie Line has awarded their Most Orange Prize – go and find out what it’s all about.
And Is an orange called an orange because it’s orange, or is orange orange because of the orange? Which came first – the fruit or the colour? That is the question being posed in Notes and Queries, again in The Guardian.