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Orange Prize For Fiction Announces 2012 Shortlist

The shortlist is announced!!

Here’s word for word from the Orange prize website:

London, 9.30am, 17 April 2012:The Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2012 shortlist. Now in its seventeenth year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.

Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues Serpent’s Tail Canadian 2nd Novel
Anne Enright The Forgotten Waltz Jonathan Cape Irish 5th Novel
Georgina Harding Painter of Silence Bloomsbury British 3rd Novel
Madeline Miller The Song of Achilles Bloomsbury American 1st Novel
Cynthia Ozick Foreign Bodies Atlantic Books American 7th Novel
Ann Patchett State of Wonder Bloomsbury American 6th Novel

The judges for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction are:

  • Joanna Trollope, (Chair), Writer
  • Lisa Appignanesi, Writer, Novelist and Broadcaster
  • Victoria Derbyshire, Journalist and Broadcaster
  • Natalie Haynes, Writer and Broadcaster
  • Natasha Kaplinsky, Broadcaster

This year’s shortlist honours both new and well-established authors, including a debut novelist and a previous Orange Prize winner; Ann Patchett, who won the Orange Prize for Fiction ten years ago for Bel Canto (2002).

“This is a shortlist of remarkable quality and variety,” commented Joanna Trollope, Chair of judges. “It includes six distinctive voices and subjects, four nationalities and an age range of close on half a century. It is a privilege to present it.”

She continues, “My only regret is that the rules of the prize don’t permit a longer shortlist. However, I am confident that the fourteen novels we had to leave out will make their own well-deserved way”.

“The Orange Prize has gone from strength to strength over the years and has established itself as a major international prize,” commented Stuart Jackson, Communications Director at Orange. “This is an exceptional shortlist reflecting the diversity and incredible range of female fiction that is available to readers today. Our judges have done a terrific job and will have a tough time choosing just one winner next month from this stellar shortlist of six.”

The award ceremony will take place in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 30 May 2012.

What do I think about the shortlist?

Yes! Yes! Yes! I finished The Song of Achilles today (45 minutes ago on the train really) and I am amazed by it and I am sooo.. happy that The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright made the cut! I can’t choose between the two but I am leaning towards The Forgotten Waltz.

Which means there are only four other titles on the shortlists that I have to work through. I’ll run over and reserve the titles online now!

What about you? What do you think about the shortlist?


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


9 thoughts on “Orange Prize For Fiction Announces 2012 Shortlist

  1. I can’t say I read books because of awards like this. I have wanted to read The Song of Achilles for sometime now though just because it sounds like my cup of tea. Really look forward to your thoughts on it.

    Posted by jessicabookworm | April 17, 2012, 2:14 pm
  2. I have mixed feelings about this shortlisted. I adored Song of Achilles and will be rooting for it to win, and I also enjoyed Half Blood Blues. State of Wonder and Painter of Silence sound good but the other two don’t appeal to me at all. And Gillespie and I should be there!

    Am I missing out if I don’t read Forgotten Waltz?

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | April 17, 2012, 7:59 pm
    • Same,
      I hate to goad anyone to read it but Forgotten Waltz is only about 230 pages long, if you can make it through a big tome such as Gillespie and I, The Forgotten Waltz would be easy for you. I think Forgotten Waltz is a strong contender to win.

      Posted by JoV | April 18, 2012, 9:32 am
  3. That’s a good list, I want to read Song of Achilles and State of Wonder sometime in the future, I’ve heard good things about them, especially about the latter.
    I’ve nominated you for the “7X7 Link Award” on my blog, it would be great if you could participate, it’s a fun meme.

    Posted by Delia (Postcards from Asia) | April 18, 2012, 2:39 pm
  4. I must say I am not familiar with any of the shortlisted ones (although I am sure they are very good)!

    If I am to pick one to start, I would pick Georgina Harding. Because she is British. And I find it easier to read books written by British writers.

    What do you think of my first pick?

    Posted by Wilfrid | April 23, 2012, 12:14 am
    • Wilfrid,
      Can I suggest you read the Song of Achilles? It is very good and I think of all the books here, less focus on women issues and more on epic war, friendship and obviously Love. Do try The Song of Achilles, the rest can come later. Look forward to hear what you think about your first shortlist book!

      Posted by JoV | April 24, 2012, 7:50 am


  1. Pingback: Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan « JoV's Book Pyramid - May 5, 2012

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3 = A good read.

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4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

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Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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