Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Prize News. . .

Lest you think it's only in the fall that the big literary prizes are awarded, here come the longlists for two major ones.
I always look forward to the Orange Prize because I'm inevitably introduced to writers and books I've never heard of, but that sound wonderful. So get a pen out and peruse this year's longlist:

Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots
Ellen Feldman, Scottsboro
Laura Fish, Strange Music
V.V. Ganeshananthan, Love Marriage
Allegra Goodman,
Samantha Harvey, The Wilderness
Samantha Hunt, The Invention of Everything Else
Michelle de Kretser, The Lost Dog
Deirdre Madden, Molly Fox’s Birthday
Toni Morrison, A Mercy
Marilynne Robinson, Home
Preeta Samarasan, Evening is the Whole Day
Kamila Shamsie,
Burnt Shadows
Curtis Sittenfeld, American Wife
Miriam Toews,
The Flying Troutmans
Ann Weisgarber, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

In particular, two books that look interesting are Laura Fish's Strange Music which is a partial fictional account of poet Elizabeth Barrett and Gaynor Arnold's Girl in a Blue Dress which is inspired by the story of Charles Dickens' wife Catharine. And The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight by Gina Ochsner looks very quirky. The shortlist will be announced on April 21st and the winner on June 3rd.

Also announced today are the contenders for the Man Booker International Prize, awarded every two years to a writer for the body of their work. Another great way to be introduced to wonderful writers you may not have read before. You can read more about the prize here.
Up for the award are Peter Carey, Evan S. Connell, Mahasweta Devi, E.L. Doctorow, James Kelman, Mario Vargas Llosa, Arnost Lustig, Alice Munro (hurrah!), V. S. Naipaul, Joyce Carol Oates, Antonio Tabucchi, Ngugi Wa Thiong'O, Dubravka Ugresic, and Ludmila Ulitskaya.
The winner will be announced in May.

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