'Gone Girl' is up for prestigious British prize
Gillian Flynn goes against heavyweight Hilary Mantel for renamed Orange Prize
Because the telephone company apparently wasn't up for sponsoring literature (the Guardian says Orange is concentrating on cinematic philanthropy this year), the prize has been renamed the Women's Prize for Fiction, at least for this year. A bit boring, yes? But the reason for the generic name is that the prize is now being sponsored by private individuals, among them the popular writer Joanna Trollope and Cherie Blair. But the nominees (here's the full list) is loaded with American writers--the prize may be British, but the rules allow any women's fiction published in the UK. It includes two novels, "The Red Book," by former photojournalist Deborah Copaken Kogan, the story of a group of friends meeting for their 25th Harvard reunion and "Where'd You Go Bernadette," former TV writer Maria Semple, a wonderfully whacky tale of a Seattle misanthrope, which are about the farthest thing from stuffy.
Bing: More on Gillian Flynn
The new Kate Atkinson, "Life after Life," which comes out in America next month (can't wait!), also made the longlist. Also on the list, something a little controversial, Sheila Heti's "How Should a Person Be," which some consider more of a memoir than a novel. It received mixed reviews along the lines of, it's genius, it's garbage. I haven't cracked it yet. Another longlisted book that has had an iffy reception, Smith's "NW." I tried it before Christmas, but my library only let me keep it for a week since it was brand spanking new and I wasn't enraptured enough to try to get it out again. I can't read the Mantel until I read "Wolf Hall," since "Bring Up the Bodies" is a sequel. The Flynn novel is a fantastic read although I had some trouble with the ending (and would slick Amy ever been duped by her fishing buddies? I think not). I have my fingers crossed that Reese Witherspoon plays the lead in the movie version. She's optioned it, so there's a good chance; she'd make the perfect Amy. I don't think Flynn's book has a chance against the Mantels, Kingsolvers (loved "Flight Behavior") or Zadie Smiths, but we'll see. What do you think? Please, weigh in in the comments.
The actual panel of judges is chaired by actress Miranda Richardson and includes Razia Iqbal, Natasha Walter, Jojo Moyes and Rachel Johnson. The prize comes with a cash prize (30,000 pounds) and will be awarded June 5. Richardson announced that the group has already faced "daunting" work while whittling 140 entries down to 20. "I don't anticipate the job becoming easier at the next stage!" she said.
Bing: More on Hilary Mantel
Loved the way the book was written but was totally dissappointed with ending! Really - another coniving selfish woman having it all! Why do men stick with these women???
Dreadful book...terrible ending
Much better literature out there (James Burke, CJ Box, etc)