New faces and old favourites make it onto Orange Prize shortlist
12th April 2011
Judges of the Orange Prize for Fiction, which is now in its 16th year, have honoured both long-standing, veteran authors and an array of new faces in this year's shortlist.
Whittling down the longlist of 20 authors to just six, the judges have included three writers making their debut on the literary circuit - Tea Obreht, Emma Henderson and Kathleen Winter.
According to the chair of the Orange Prize judging panel Bettany Hughes, the calibre of submissions has been extremely high and, as a result, the judging meeting 'fizzed for many hours with conversations about the originality, excellence and readability'.
Appearing alongside Obreht, Henderson and Winter on the shortlist are Emma Donoghue, Aminatta Forna and Nicole Krauss.
The favourite to win the competition is Donoghue, whose book Room tells the story of a boy held captive against his will by a character that shares many similarities with Josef Fritzl. The book has already been shortlisted for an array of honours - including the Man Booker Prize.
However, Foyles' Jonathan Ruppin believes Obreht will scoop the prestigious accolade when the prize is announced in June.
'It's a fascinating shortlist, a wonderful illustration of the diverse possibilities of the novel. Of course, each author is a wonderful storyteller, but it seems that the judges have been attracted by confident and distinctive voices, by authors capable of captivating their readers' imaginations,' he said.
'I'm tipping The Tiger's Wife to win, but I'd imagine the judges will find it very difficult to pick a winner from this field,' he added.
The complete shortlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction is as follows:
Room, Emma Donoghue
The Memory of Love, Aminatta Forna
Grace Williams Says it Loud, Emma Henderson
Great House, Nicole Krauss
The Tiger's Wife, Tea Obreht
Annabel, Kathleen Winter