Barbara Kingsolver wins Orange prize for The Lacuna

Unexpected victory for American author

Last week, the American novelist Barbara Kingsolver won the Orange prize for fiction. The £30,000 prize, presented by The Duchess of Cornwall, was awarded for The Lacuna, her first novel since 2000. It beat the favourite Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning bestseller, and A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. The Lacuna is written in the form of letters, diaries and transcripts, and follows the life of fictional American author Harrison Shepherd from 1929 to the 1950s. Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles Bookshop said, ‘It's a daunting read, which fans of her hugely popular novel The Poisonwood Bible won't all take to, but it rewards patient reading.’ In the Guardian newspaper, Folio publisher Catherine Taylor discusses the mixed critical reaction to the judges’ verdict.

Lionel Shriver, author of the Orange prize-winning We Need to Talk About Kevin, was voted the most popular Orange prize-winner of all time by members of the public. This week, she thanked Orange for this recognition but criticised the multiple awards given by Orange, which now include a prize for first published writers, saying that, ‘The more prizes you give, the more meaningless they become.’

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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