Orange Prize for Fiction is the UK's only annual book award for fiction written by a woman. The prize was established in 1996 to celebrate fiction by women throughout the world and to promote it to the widest range of readers possible. It is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman in the English language, regardless of her nationality.
The long list for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction was announced today, and it includes nine debut novels. The list includes the author of the newly released hot novel, The Tiger's Wife (Tea Obrecht) and the winner of the just-announced National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction (Jennifer Egan). Here are all the authors on the long list:
•Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - Sudanese; 3rd Novel
•Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Canongate) - British; 10th Novel
•Room by Emma Donoghue (Picador) - Irish; 7th Novel
•The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi (Bloomsbury) - Indian; 1st Novel
•Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty (Faber and Faber) - British; 6th Novel
•A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Corsair) - American; 4th Novel
•The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury) - British/Sierra Leonean; 2nd Novel
•The London Train by Tessa Hadley (Jonathan Cape) - British; 4th Novel
•Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson (Sceptre) - British; 1st Novel
•The Seas by Samantha Hunt (Corsair) - American; 1st Novel
•The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna (Faber and Faber) - British; 2nd Novel
•Great House by Nicole Krauss (Viking) - American; 3rd Novel
•The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone (Chatto & Windus) - American; 3rd Novel
•The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - Serbian/American; 1st Novel
•The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Viking) - American; 1st Novel
•Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile (Serpent's Tail) - British; 1st Novel
•Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Chatto & Windus) - American; 1st Novel
•The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (Serpent's Tail) - British/Nigerian; 1st Novel
•The Swimmer by Roma Tearne (Harper Press) - British; 4th Novel
•Annabel by Kathleen Winter (Jonathan Cape) - Canadian; 1st Novel
This year's five-person judging panel includes the novelist Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring, etc). The short list will be announced on April 12, with the awards ceremony to be held on June 8. Bettany Hughes, Chair of Judges, said "It was a huge tussle to get the list down to twenty, but what we have is a gorgeous, widely varied longlist - we'll certainly enjoy re-reading each and every one as we make tough choices to select the Orange Prize shortlist for 2011."
Last year's winner of the Orange Prize was Barbara Kingsolver, for her novel The Lacuna. Previous winners of the prize are Marilynne Robinson, Rose Tremain, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver, Andrea Levy, Ann Patchett, Valerie Martin, Kate Grenville, Linda Grant, Suzanne Berne, Carol Shields, Anne Michaels, and Helen Dunmore.
The UK-based Guardian offers jacket covers (European), descriptions, and reviews of all of the books on the Orange Prize long list.
PS: We hope you get a chance to check out our window display this month in honor of March being National Women's History Month -- with this year's theme being "Our history is our strength."