American author Barbara Kingsolver has won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction with her sixth novel The Lacuna (Faber and Faber). Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, presented the author with the Prize at an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre in central London this evening hosted by Orange Prize for Fiction Co-Founder and Honorary Director, Kate Mosse.
Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The winner receives a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.
Daisy Goodwin, Chair of Judges, who announced the winning author at the ceremony, said: “We had very different tastes on the panel, but in the end we went for passion not compromise. We chose The Lacuna because it is a book of breathtaking scale and shattering moments of poignancy.”
The Orange Prize for Fiction was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction written by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. The Orange Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written in English by a woman.
The judges for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction are:
Daisy Goodwin (Chair), Author and TV Producer
Baroness Neuberger DBE, Rabbi, Author and Broadcaster
Michèle Roberts, Novelist and Critic
Miranda Sawyer, Journalist and Broadcaster
Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue
“We’re extremely proud that the Orange Prize has grown over the past 15 years to become one of Britain’s most prestigious literary awards and an important cultural landmark,” commented Stuart Jackson, Communications Director of Orange. “The depth and variety revealed in this year’s shortlist reflects the range and calibre of women’s writing that the Orange Prize has championed since its inception 15 years ago. But even from such an exceptional shortlist, there can only be one winner – many congratulations to Barbara Kingsolver.”
Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 and grew up in eastern Kentucky. Her books include poetry, non-fiction and award-winning fiction. Her novel, The Poisonwood Bible, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1999. She lives with her husband and daughter in southern Arizona and in the mountains of southern Appalachia.
Born in the US and reared in a series of provincial households in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is mostly a liability to his social-climbing mother, Salomé; his fortunes never steady as Salomé finds her rich men-friends always on the losing side of the Mexican Revolution.
Harrison aims for invisibility, observing his world and recording everything with a peculiar selfless irony in his notebooks. Life is whatever he learns from servants putting him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets. Then, one day, he ends up mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist, Diego Riviera – which leads to a job in Riviera’s house, where Harrison makes himself useful to the muralist, his wife Frida Kahlo and the exiled Bolshevik leader, Lev Trotsky.
A violent upheaval sends him north to the US. In Carolina, he remakes himself in America’s hopeful image and finds an extraordinary use for his talents of observation. But political winds continue to volley him between north and south, in a story that turns many times on the unspeakable breach – the lacuna – between truth and public presumption.
Previous winners of the Orange Prize are Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006), Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces (1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).
Irene Sabatini Wins 2010 Orange Award for New Writers
The Orange Prize for Fiction awards ceremony also saw the announcement of the winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers. Established in 2005 as part of the Orange Prize tenth year celebrations, the emphasis of the Orange Award for New Writers is on emerging talent and the evidence of future potential. Chair of Judges, Di Speirs, presented a £10,000 bursary provided by Arts Council England, to Irene Sabatini for her novel The Boy Next Door (Sceptre).
The 2010 award ceremony took place in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, central London. In addition to the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Orange Award for New Writers winner announcements, author Anne Michaels was named as the winner of the Orange Prize 2010 Youth Panel Award and Anna Lewis won the Orange/Harpers Bazaar Short Story Competition for unpublished writers.
Guests toasted the announcement of the winners at a champagne drinks reception courtesy of Taittinger.
Amanda Johnson or Naomi Li at M&C Saatchi:
Tel: 020 7544 3751/0207 544 3687 or 07715 922 180/07837 252 397
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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If you would like to set up an interview with Barbara Kingsolver after 9th June, please contact Rebecca Pearson at Faber and Faber on (0) 207 927 3886 or at email@example.com
Notes to Editors
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Previous winners of the Orange Prize are Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006), Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s