The Orange Prize is awarded for a work of fiction, written by a woman, of any age or nationality, so long as it is written in English. The winner is awarded a bronze statuette, which is nicknamed the “Bessie” and in 2010, the prize also carries a cash award of £30,000.
This year’s winner, was by no means a unanimous decision and, in fact, the outspoken American author, may prove to be a controversial choice.
The Orange Prize For 2010:
Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico – from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City – Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence.
Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America’s hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach – the lacuna – between truth and public presumption.
About The Author
Barbara Kingsolver is an American author, who was born in Kentucky and is currently living in Virginia, with her family; although she has travelled extensively and worked worldwide.
She was awarded a Biology degree, from DePauw University; followed by a Masters of Science degree, from the University of Arizona.
‘The Lacuna’ is her sixth published novel.