The Orange Prize is homeless and nameless as we speak. The Orange Prize for fiction is awarded to female novelists writing in English. Chimamanda Adichie won it in 2007, Zadie Smith in 2006 and Barbara Kingsolver in 2010. Until now it’s been sponsored by Orange, a mobile phone and broadband company in the Uk, hence the name. But Orange mobile has decided to ditch novels for films and has announced that this year’s prize is the last 30, 000 pounds it’ll shell out to support international writing in English by women. Orange mobile is suggesting that there’s no hard feelings. It just feels like trying something new.

“While relinquishing sponsorship of the Prize is tinged with sadness, we’re hugely proud of what Orange and the Women’s Prize for Fiction have achieved.” Continue Reading 

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Behind this diplomatic-speak are, perhaps, murmurs of complaints:

“Look, it’s been nice keep it real, but let’s face it, books just don’t get people to sign cellphone and broadband contracts.”

Is this another in a growing body of warnings signs telling us that novels are fast losing their ground as a dominate cultural object?

Here are this year’s Orange prize shortlist. The Americans are clearly dominating. The winner gets unveiled in a few days, on May 30th.

Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues Serpent’s Tail Canadian 2nd Novel
Anne Enright The Forgotten Waltz Jonathan Cape Irish 5th Novel
Georgina Harding Painter of Silence Bloomsbury British 3rd Novel
Madeline Miller The Song of Achilles Bloomsbury American 1st Novel
Cynthia Ozick Foreign Bodies Atlantic Books American 7th Novel
Ann Patchett State of Wonder Bloomsbury American 6th Novel

Image via Beach Tomato