The Orange* Prize for Fiction announced its 2009 longlist. The Orange Prize is awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English by a woman. (Short story collections and novellas are not eligible.) This year’s longlist includes Toni Morrison for A Mercy, Miriam Toews for The Flying Troutmans and Marilynne Robinson for Home.
*Orange is the mobile phone company in the UK that sponsors the prize. When I lived in London, Orange was famous for its “adverts.” I don’t know anything about their current ad campaign.
The National Book Award winners were announced tonight at a dinner in New York emceed by Eric Begosian. (And thanks to the National Book Foundation’s Twitter updates, readers who were not at the dinner could still follow the action. I confess that I don’t entirely understand Twitter, but was impressed by how tech savvy the National Book Foundation is.) This year’s winner for Fiction is Peter Matthiessen for Shadow Country. The four Finalists were: Aleksander Hemon for The Lazarus Project, Rachel Kushner for Telex from Cuba, Marilynne Robinson for Home, and Salvatore Scibona for The End. In other award news tonight, McKey (apparently not her real name) was named “America’s Next Top Model.” The winners of the National Book Awards each received $10,000 and a bronze statue. The winner of “ANTM” received a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl, representation from Elite Model Management, and a cover shoot for Seventeen Magazine. I’ll refrain from further comment. Just buy the Finalists’ wonderful books. And then read them. Please.