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Zadie Smith wins the Orange Prize

Finally! She may not have won the Booker (*growls*), but Zadie Smith has finally won a major literary prize. Apparently, she was 'stunned' at the announcement that On Beauty had won the Orange Prize, and she was very gracious in her acceptance speech after the event.

The Daily Mail article focuses on Zadie's reaction to the news, while The Times focuses on the panel's dissent.

While I am delighted that's she's getting the accolade she deserves for this brilliant work, there is part of me that is still very irked that it's the Orange Prize, a prize for the best novel in English by a woman author. Zadie beat out some brilliant novelists, including Nicole Krauss, but I'm still waiting for the day when the literary establishment will acknowledge her as not just a great female novelist, but a great novelist full stop. On Beauty is an amazing work--a tour de force of characterisation, an intricately plotted masterpiece with so much to say on issues as diverse as race, sexual politics, aestheticism, academic politics and female identity. Clearly we still *need* the Orange Prize if this work can't win other prizes. Why don't they just formalise the Booker as the 'boys club' prize and be done with it? Why isn't the Orange as prestigious? Argh!

*throws rotten tomatoes at the Booker judging panel*

Well done, Zadie! You are amazingly serene and gracious in a world that doesn't give you the credit you deserve. I hope you enjoy your win.
Tags: books

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