Has anyone out there read An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay? Kay has just picked up the Orange Award for New Writers which celebrate emerging female literary talent. An Equal Stillness came into my hands a couple of months ago – along with a swag load of glowing reviews – but I am afraid it got swamped by a whole lot of next big things. Well, after this week’s announcement, it has just made the huge leap to the top of the pile. In the meantime, I certainly would be interested in the thoughts of anyone who has read it.
While the Orange Award for New Writers has only been going for a few years, the Orange Prize for Fiction is now in its 13th year. Born out of frustration that the major literary prizes were ignoring women’s writing, the Orange Prize has brought into the main stream people such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of the Yellow Sun), Zadie Smith (On Beauty), and Carol Shields (Unless). A few of my all time favourites have been either winners or on the short list, namely Valerie Martin’s Property and Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.
The judges have just awarded Marilynne Robinson the overall winner for Home. Home is a companion novel to her earlier Gilead. You can listen to Robinson reading from her book at the awards ceremony here.