Monday 7 February 2011

Orange Prize Appreciation Post

I'm currently reading Half of a Yellow Sun, which is the winner of the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and loving it.  It struck me just how many good books I have read have been either Orange winners or on the short-list.  It's got to the point where I will pick a book up solely if it has won the prize, because I know it will be good.  The balance between being literary and pretentiousness is just right.

Prize Winners I Have Read and Loved:
The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver (2010)
We Need to Talk about Kevin - Lionel Shriver (2005)
Small Island - Andrea Levy (2004)

Short-Listed Books I Have Loved:
The Accidental - Ali Smith (2006)
The White Family - Maggie Gee (2002)
White Teeth - Zadie Smith (2000)
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (1999)

Orange Books I Have Been Meaning to Read for Too Long:
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle - Monique Roffey (2010)
The Outcast - Sadie Jones (2008)
The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai (2007)
The History of Love - Nicole Krauss (2006)
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters (2006)
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka (2005)
Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2004)
The Siege - Helen Dunmore (2002)

The full list of Orange prize winners and the yearly short-list can be found here.  What do you think of the prize?  Have you read any winners?


  1. The Outcast is an excellent debut novel and worth a read.

    The Night Watch is also interesting and is going to be made/or has been made into a TV programme for the BBC Books season. This was the first Sarah Waters that I read.

    Sadly they are the only two I have read from your list here. Never enough time!

  2. I've only read a handful of shortlisted titles (The History of Love, Oryx and Crake and Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood) and one winner (Bel Canto), and of those I have read - I have enjoyed them all. Thanks for reminding me to hunt more of them down!

  3. The Night Watch is amazing,and it's what got me loving Sarah Waters. I also really liked Purple Hibiscus and We Need to Talk About Kevin. I've been toying with the idea of challenging myself to read all of the winners for a while now,but maybe that's taking my love of lists a bit too far...

  4. I've not heard of this award before, so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    I love Kingsolver and have read The Poisonwood Bible, and The Lacuna and loved them both.

    I've also read Bel Canto and Divine Secrets and enjoyed those. That's all that I've read from the entire list, so I need to check some of these out.

  5. @Brenna
    All the ones you've read I haven't. I actually own a copy of Bel Canto and should get around to reading it. I hope you enjoy some of the others if you read them :)