Exciting book world news: It was announced this afternoon that Téa Obreht has won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel The Tiger’s Wife (which we reviewed here). At just 25 years old, she is the youngest writer ever to receive the prize, which is awarded annually to a female writer for the best English-language novel published in the UK in the preceding year.
“The Tiger’s Wife is an exceptional book and Téa Obreht is a truly exciting new talent,” explained Bettany Hughes, Chair of Judges. “Obreht’s powers of observation and her understanding of the world are remarkable. By skilfully spinning a series of magical tales she has managed to bring the tragedy of chronic Balkan conflict thumping into our front rooms with a bittersweet vivacity. The book reminds us how easily we can slip into barbarity, but also of the breadth and depth of human love. Obreht celebrates storytelling and she helps us to remember that it is the stories that we tell about ourselves, and about others, that can make us who we are and the world what it is.”
Considering that Emma Donoghue’s Room and Nicole Krauss’s Great House were also on the short list, do you think that the judges made the right decision? More importantly, do you agree that a women-only prize such as this one is needed?