Debut Novelists Make Strong Showing in Orange Prize Shortlist

by Staff

Orange Broadband released yesterday the shortlist for the 2008 Orange Prize, given annually to a woman writer for a novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award, which carries with it a cash prize of £30,000 (approximately $59,250), is open to writers of any nationality. This year's finalists are from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

The finalists are Nancy Huston for Fault Lines (McArthur & Company), Sadie Jones for The Outcast (Knopf Canada), Charlotte Mendelson for When We Were Bad (Picador), Heather O'Niell for Lullabies for Little Criminals (HarperCollins Canada), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (Chatto and Windus), and Patricia Wood for Lottery (Putnam).

Three of the six finalists—Jones, O'Neill, and Wood—are debut novelists. Wood is a PhD student at the University of Hawaii.

Last week, Orange Broadband released the shortlist for its Award for New Writers, worth £10,000 (approximately $19,750). The debut novelists up for the honor are Lauren Groff for The Monsters of Templeton (Hyperion), Joanna Kavena for Inglorious, and Lauren Liebenberg for The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam (Virago Press).

This year's judges for the Orange Prize are Kirsty Lang, Philippa Gregory, Bel Mooney, and Lisa Allardice. Lily Allen, a British pop singer, withdrew from the judging panel earlier this month. The Award for New Writers judges are Shami Chakrabati, Clare Allan, and Suzi Feay.

The winners will be named on June 4 at a ceremony at Royal Festival Hall in London.