Zadie Smith wins Orange Prize with On Beauty
Britain's Zadie Smith won the Orange Prize for Fiction Tuesday with her third novel, On Beauty.india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 20:38 IST
By Suevon Lee
Britain's Zadie Smith won the Orange Prize for Fiction Tuesday with her third novel, On Beauty. Smith, 30, had been the bookies' favorite for the 30,000-pound (US$53,600; €43,300) prize, which celebrates excellence in writing by women.
"I'm stunned because I've read everything on the shortlist and its quality is incredible," an emotional Smith told the prize ceremony at London's grand Royal Courts of Justice. On Beauty - a campus novel set in an Ivy League U.S. college - beat finalists including The History of Love by U.S. novelist Nicole Krauss and Australian writer Carrie Tiffany's debut novel, Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living.
The other nominees were British - Hilary Mantel, for her 10th novel, Beyond Black; Ali Smith for The Accidental; and Sarah Waters for her World War II saga The Night Watch. The Orange Prize is one of the book world's most lucrative awards and is open to any novel by a woman published in English. Zadie Smith, who shot to fame in 2000 with her best-selling book White Teeth, had previously been nominated for the prize in 2000 and 2003.
On Beauty, a sprawling tale of two families written as a homage to E.M. Forster's Howards End, also was nominated for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize last year.
The head of the Orange judging panel, broadcaster Martha Kearney, praised On Beauty as "a book which combines extraordinary characterization with skillful and seemingly effortless plotting." The £10,000 pound (US$19,000, €14,500) Orange award for new writers went to Naomi Alderman for Disobedience, a novel set within north London's Orthodox Jewish community.
Alderman, 31, said winning the award meant "I no longer have that voice in my head that says, 'I will be a terrible writer and I will never be published.'"