News & Reviews
Marilynne Robinson wins 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction
Edited Press Release
American author Marilynne Robinson
can add another major award to her growing list of accolades now that
she's won the fourteenth Orange Prize for Fiction with her third novel
"Home" (Virago). At an awards ceremony in London, hosted by Orange
Prize for Fiction Co-Founder and Honorary Director Kate Mosse, Robinson received a
£30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie,’ the award's traditional
limited-edition bronze figurine.
Home is "a kind,
wise, enriching novel, exquisitely crafted. We are unanimously agreed -
it is a profound work of art," said Fi Glover, Chair of Judges in a
The Orange Prize
for Fiction was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote
fiction written by women throughout the world to the widest range of
readers possible. The Orange Prize is awarded to the best novel of the
year written in English by a woman.
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels "Housekeeping" (1981),
received the PEN/Hemingway Award for the best first novel and was
nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and "Gilead" (2004) which won the Pulitzer
and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has also written two
works of nonfiction, "Mother Country" and "The Death of Adam," and
teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Robinson's winner novel Home is about Jack, prodigal son of the
Boughton family, godson and namesake of John Ames (main protagonist of
Gilead, Robinson’s last novel). Gone twenty years, has returned home
looking for refuge and to try to make peace with a past littered with
trouble and pain. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot
hold down a job, Jack is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and
with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton’s most
Jack's sister Glory has also returned to Gilead, fleeing her own
mistakes, to care for their dying father. Brilliant, loveable, wayward,
Jack forges an intense new bond with Glory and engages painfully with
his father and his father’s old friend, John Ames.
Previous winners of the Orange Prize are Rose Tremain
for "The Road Home" (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for "Half of a
Yellow Sun" (2007), Zadie Smith
for "On Beauty" (2006), Lionel Shriver for "We Need to Talk About
Kevin" (2005), Andrea Levy for "Small Island" (2004), Valerie Martin
for "Property" (2003), Ann Patchett for "Bel Canto" (2002), Kate
Grenville for "The Idea of Perfection" (2001) and Linda Grant for "When
I Lived in Modern Times" (2000). Helen Dunmore won the first Orange
Prize back in 1996 for "A Spell of Winter."
Separately, the Orange Prize for Fiction awards ceremony also saw Francesca Kay win the 2009 Orange
Award for New Writers. Established in 2005 as part of the Orange
Prize 10th year celebrations, the emphasis of the Orange Award for New
Writers is on emerging talent and the evidence of future potential.
Chair of Judges, Mishal Husain, presented a £10,000 bursary,
provided by Arts Council England, to Kay for her novel "An Equal
Stillness" (Weidenfeld & Nicolson).
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