Orange Prize for Fiction – Shortlist unveiled

It seems like only five minutes ago that the long list was announced for the 2011 Orange award, where did the time go? So you can imagine my surprise this morning when an email dropped into my inbox announcing this years short list. Off course I was also extremely excited as this is an award I love and almost all of the books on the list have really grabbed my attention. So who’s made the cut?

 Annabel – Kathleen Winter (1st novel)

Grace Williams says it Loud – Emma Henderson (1st novel)

Great House – Nicole Krauss (3rd novel)

Room – Emma Donoghue (7th novel)

The Memory of Love Aminatta Forna (2nd novel)

Tea Obreht – The Tiger’s Wife (Ist Novel) 

Despite my excitement over the event I must confess I’ve still only read Room by Emma Donoghue. Usually I would have devoured a lot more but my list of books to read this year seems to be higher than ever. However I do have whatever you love by Louise Doughty, Grace Williams say it loud by Emma Henderson and also Annabel by Kathleen Winter on my bookshelf at home crying out to be read.  The long list was full of eye-catching gems that I desperately wanted to read but these are the three that really stuck out for me. I was a little disappointed to see that Whatever you love hadn’t made the short list as it was one of my highly anticipated reads, however I will still be reading it soon. I wonder if I will still be disappointed that it didn’t make the short list? Or if I will think that the decision was the right one?

I’m also desperate to start Grace Williams say it loud. After reading the synopsis for it my first thought was I have to read this book! So I am really pleased to see it on the list, I hope it lives up to my expectations as it’s a book I’m extremely excited to read. I’ve heard great things about it so to see it on the short list is further fuelling my anticipation. Has anyone else read it yet? would you recommend it?

I’ve also heard a lot of great things about Annabel, although I must confess that I slightly judged the book by the cover the first time I saw it, (a cardinal sin, I know) I found the cover quite foreboding and dark however from the buzz of winning praise surrounding this book at the moment, I clearly shouldn’t be perturbed by a cover, shame on me perhaps? Seeing it on the short list has sealed my interest so this is another book for the TBR list, wow it’s getting longer still.

As previously mentioned I have already read Room and this ia book I just loved. The story gripped me from start to finish and it still lingers with me now so I’ am thrilled to see it on the list.

The shortlist is as diverse as ever with three debut novels making the list and a variety of writers from around the world. Off course this is what is so good about the Orange award; the way in which it sheds light on such a broad scope of talent and celebrates the ability of both first time writers as well as long serving writers.

I think it’s time to start getting stuck into the rest of the books, both the short list and the long list (I still want to read everything on there…all in good time). I wonder out of the three books I’ve mentioned on my TBR list, and indeed the whole of the short and long list is there anything you would strongly recommend? Anything that I just have to read?

What do you think about the short list? Are you pleased with the finalists or is there a writer you really wanted to see but regrettably didn’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Orange Prize for Fiction – Shortlist unveiled

  1. Annabel is A-MA-ZING, you have to, have to read that one and then I will have someone to talk all about it to endlessly. Its just superb. As is Grace Williams Says It Loud, I want to say more but shall not, its a book you dont want to spoil.

    I might just know someone who has a few of the longlisted books spare… cant think who that would be?

  2. Ah your making me really want to read ‘Annabel’ Simon! Read your review and it did help sway my interest in it so it might just have to be my next read. How does it compare to ‘Room’? that’s the only book I’ve read from the list at the moment and I loved it but I’m interested in how it fairs compared to the other novels on the shortlist.

    I’m also very intrigued by ‘Grace Williams says it Loud’ if it lives up to the synopsis I think I might be in for a treat. O could that be yourself by any chance : ) I’d like to read all of them eventually so anything you would strongly recommend would be greatly appreciated!

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