Love it or loath The Orange Prize for Fiction have today announced the shortlist for their 2012 prize. Each year the original long list is whittled down to just six titles which overnight seem to fill the windows of all major bookshops and become inescapable in the general buzz and excitment of this much talked about Prize. So much so that for the next few months at least you can expect to hear and see a lot from the below titles:
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
I usually try and keep up with the prize, reading as many titles before the final winner is announced but this year I’ve being considering if Too Much Praise Can Spoil a Book? And I’ve generally decided that as much as I personally love most of the titles that the Orange prize invariably throws up, I wont be such a keen partaker this year. It’s not that I no longer care for the award or that I’m disinterested in the list, it’s just that I no longer feel the need to read each book at a specific time simply because every bookseller and enthusiast is telling me too.
I plan to read many books from both the long and short list but in my own good time when they take my fancy and not before. After all none of these books are going anywhere anytime soon, so what’s the rush.
But the book I am pleased to see and will probably read sooner rather than later is State Of Wonder by Ann Patchett, perhaps it’s premature for me to be so excited about it’s arrival on the shortlist as I haven’t yet read the book but she’s one of my favourite writers so I’m generally thrilled to see her new novel on there.
I’m not at all surprised to see The Forgotten Waltz on the list, it’s already a much talked about book this year and one that people seem to adore, a strong contender for the final prize perhaps?
I’m a little shocked that The Night Circus didn’t make the cut, again this is another book that people everywhere seem to love, I thought it was dead cert that it would make the short list.
The only book I’ve actually tried on the list so far is The Lord of Misrule, I got about 100 pages into it then picked up something else, it wasn’t that I didn’t like the book but I did struggle with some of the colloquial dialect and equestrian terms. I’m determined to finish it though so expect my thoughts soon and please don’t judge the book from these short words, I’m still holding out on my own final opinion.
So that’s the final short list but what does everyone think? Or you happy with the final six titles, is there something your frustrated to see didn’t make the grade or perhaps you simply don’t care and have an opinion on the award in general? I’d love to hear all your thoughts so please get in touch.