So Who Did Win the Orange Prize…?

6th Jun 2012


Nominees for the 2012 Orange Prize included some of the strongest writers around, including previous winner, Ann Patchett and godmother of word-perfect prose, Cynthia Ozick.

So the winner came as something of a surprise; sometime theatre director, and long-time Classics teacher, Madeline Miller scooped the award with her first novel, The Song of Achilles. Actually, Patchett may have had a hunch it was on the cards when she lent her that fabulous orange frock (see above).

The novel centres on Achilles and The Iliad, refiguring it from the perspective of Patroclus, an exiled prince, Achilles’ best friend and also, according to Miller’s spin, his lover.

As well as Patchett, fans of the book include Lorrie Moore and Jeanette Winterson. Pretty solid recommendations there. And yes, she actually is going to tackle The Odyssey next – focusing on its female characters.

What did you reckon to this year’s longlisted and shortlisted nominees? Which ones have you read, and were you surprised by the winner? Will you be reading what Madeline Miller does next?

Mekella Broomberg