Here's to women! The Orange Prize for Fiction and the Orange Award for New Writers are open to any woman who is writing in English—no matter her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter. Among the illustrious list of previous winners are reader favorites like authors Marilynn Robinson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ann Patchett and Anne Michaels.
It all started in January 1992 when a group of publishers, agents, journalists, reviewers, booksellers and librarians came together with a plan to introduce a writing prize specifically for women writers. At the time, the group felt that too many readers were missing out on fantastic books because the big literary prizes seemed to be overlooking quality writing by women. Soon, a plan was in place to announce a new award, and Orange, a communications company, signed on as the sponsor.
The first Orange Prize for Fiction was awarded to Helen Dunmore in May 1996 for her novel A Spell of Winter. Nearly a decade later, the Orange Award for New Writers was added to open the door for promising first works. 26a by Diana Evans was awarded the first prize in 2005.
This year's winners are:
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Winner of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction
An American reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is caught in the tides of the Mexican Revolution until he ends up working for famed muralist Diego Riviera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and the exiled Leon Trotsky. The political winds volley him between north and south in a story that turns on the lacuna between truth and public presumption.
See the complete short list for the Orange Prize for Fiction
The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini
Winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers
As Zimbabwe breaks free of British colonial rule, Lindiwe Bishop's white neighbor is murdered. Her stepson, Ian, goes to prison for the crime yet is quickly released. Lindiwe becomes his friend until he abruptly departs for South Africa. Years later, their close relationship is tested by racial prejudice and a country falling into chaos.
Check out the short list for the Orange Award for New Writers