Serbian-US writer Obreht scoops British literary prize
Thursday 09 June 2011
Serbian-American author Tea Obreht on Wednesday became the youngest ever winner of Britain's prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel The Tiger's Wife.
The 25-year-old, born in Belgrade, accepted the £30,000 ($49,100, 33,700 euros) prize at a ceremony at London's Royal Festival Hall.
"It is a tremendous honour," the author said after picking up the award. "I was stunned and I did not expect it and I did not prepare anything. I'm really still not processing it."
The Tiger's Wife, Obreht's debut novel, tells the story of a young doctor inspired by her grandfather's stories to embark on a journey through the war-torn nations of the former Yugoslavia.
Obreht, who now lives in the US, said she hoped the novel painted a "fairer picture" of the Balkan war.
"I'm really happy that it will be translated into Serbo-Croatian which means my grandmother, who does not speak any English and has never read any of my books will be able to read it."
The Orange award is presented annually to a female author for the best novel written in English. Previous winners include Lionel Shriver and Zadie Smith.
Historian Bettany Hughes, who chaired the four-woman judges panel, said Obreht was "a truly exciting new talent".
"This is a fiction prize and what this book does is celebrate the power of storytelling," she added.
Obreht left Belgrade in 1992 when the region descended into civil war and moved to the United States in 1997.
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
James Blunt finally admits the truth: 'You're Beautiful' is annoying
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Batman v Superman: Side-kick Robin to be 'woman played by Jena Malone'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments