The winner of the 2011 Orange prize will be announced next Wednesday, but who will pick up the trophy?
I think that the shortlist is very strong and, unlike previous years, there is no obvious front runner.
My personal favourite is Room, but the long list selection proved that the judges favor more literary novels and so I’d be surprised if it won.
I think the real discussion in the judge’s secret chamber will come down to whether The Memory of Love or Great House should win. The Memory of Love has recently won The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and so many people are tipping it to win the Orange, but whilst I admired the writing I found the plot so slow that it was almost non-existent. Great House has a complexity not present in The Memory of Love and this will mean that the re-reading the judges must do will reveal many extra qualities missed on a first reading. This won’t be so true for The Memory of Love. It is a tough call and I’m sure the judges will spend a long time agonising over the decision, but I think in the end they will decide that Great House should win the Orange prize.
The bookies don’t agree with me. William Hill currently have Room as the favourite:
Odds of Winning Orange Prize
|The Memory of Love||3/1|
|Grace Williams Says it Loud||5/1|
|The Tiger’s Wife||6/1|
This is probably due the fact that the other titles aren’t as well known as Room, rather than an indication of the relative quality of the books.
Who do you think will win the Orange Prize on 8th June?