Friday, 24 April 2009

Orange Prize Shortlist

One by One in the DarknessThe shortlist for the Orange Prize 2009, worth £30,000, has been announced. Irish writer, Deirdre Madden, who was previously shortlisted for the Orange prize in 1997 for her novel One by One in the Darkness, has again been shortlisted for her novel Molly Fox's Birthday. In the novel a playwright reflects on how her life has intertwined with those of two friends, the celebrated actor Molly Fox, and their mutual friend Andrew. It is a book about friendship of various kinds.

One of the chosen novels, The Wilderness, is a debut work by Samantha Harvey telling the story of a man in his early 60s struggling to hold on to his identity as Alzheimer's takes hold of his mind.

American author Marilynne Robinson’s Home, a follow on to her Pulitzer prize-winning novel Gilead has also made the shortlist. Home tells the story of Jack Boughton, godson and namesake of Gilead's protagonist John Ames.

Two other American authors, Ellen Feldman and Samantha Hunt, are also in the running for the prize. Feldman’s book Scottsboro tells of a young journalist’s fight to save nine youths, accused of the rape of two white girls, from the electric chair. The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt revolves around the fictionalised account of the relationship between the Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla, inventor of radio and creator of AC electricity, and a highly sensitive and imaginative young woman.

Pakistani author, Kamila Shamsie, is shortlisted for Burnt Shadows, a decades-spanning novel which travels from the nuclear detonation in Nagasaki in 1945 to post-9/11 Afghanistan, tracing the stories of three families.
The winner of the prize will be announced on 3 June. Last year Rose Tremain took the award with The Road Home. Previous winners include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun, Zadie Smith for On Beauty and Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin.

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