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Orange Prize for Fiction shortlist unveiled

17th April 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction has been announced, with six authors in contention for the GBP 30,000 prize.

They include Ann Patchett, who was shortlisted for The Magician's Assistant in 1998 and won the prize in 2002 for Bel Canto. She will become the first author to win the award twice if her latest novel, State of Wonder, is victorious.

She is one of three American authors in contention, with Cynthia Ozick also shortlisted for Foreign Bodies and Madeline Miller hoping to become the second consecutive debut author to win the Orange Prize for Fiction for The Song of Achilles.

Esi Edugyan, who was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize but lost out to Julian Barnes' The Sense of An Ending, will be hoping Half Blood Blues can go one step further, while Irish author Anne Enright is shortlisted for The Forgotten Waltz.

Only one British author is in contention to win the award, with Georgina Harding nominated for her third novel, Painter of Silence.

Joanna Trollope, chair of the judging panel, said the 2012 shortlist contains books of 'remarkable quality and variety'.

'It includes six distinctive voices and subjects, four nationalities and an age range of close on half a century. It is a privilege to present it,' she added.

'My only regret is that the rules of the prize don't permit a longer shortlist. However, I am confident that the 14 novels we had to leave out will make their own well-deserved way.'

The winner of the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London's Southbank Centre on May 30th, with the victorious author receiving GBP 30,000 and the famous Bessie statue.

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