The Word On: Orange shortlist
Friday 01 May 2009
Shortlists and prizes may indeed be good things, if they raise awareness of books in general (then again, they may not be); but having a women-only prize is an anachronism, plain and simple. You just have to consider the likely reaction to a new prize for male writers only (or should that be 'non-women' writers?) Or how about a literary prize open only to natural blondes?
A quartet of Oranges not bad, but I must come clean about my reading experience with 'The Wilderness' by Samantha Harvey, shortlisted by the judges, but not by me. It's a novel about a man's journey through Alzheimer's, all those memories and identity becoming elusive...I made a promising start, a good 70 pages or so which is usually plenty for a book to become well-established in my mind, and I was certainly eager to carry on. Then life, 'Scottsboro', etc, intervened and when I picked it up again, I just couldn't get back into it. I couldn't for the life of me remember what happened next.
I'm halfway through 'Molly Fox's Birthday'... an absolute delight after some recent disappointments. I did enjoy 'Burnt Shadows' but felt it was slightly let down by a rushed ending.
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