Two Canadian authors have made the longlist for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (the award formerly known as the Orange Prize). Among the 20 contenders are Lori Lansens’ The Girls (published by Knopf Canada here and Little, Brown in the U.K.) and Lisa Moore’s Alligator (House of Anansi Press here and Virago there). Not to mention Stef Penney’s Canada-set The Tenderness of Wolves (Penguin Canada here, Quercus there), which already has a Costa Book of the Year (the award formerly known as the Whitbread Prize) win under its belt.
The Canadian and Canada-friendly titles are up against Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, which has already won the Man Booker Prize (the award formerly known as the Booker Prize); Nell Freudenberger’s The Dissident; and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, among others. The winner will be announced on June 6.
As this Guardian piece notes, the presence of Desai and Penney on the longlist seems to buck an unspoken but longstanding trend on the BritLit awards scene:
But the decision goes far beyond this. None of the richer awards since the first of them, the Booker, was founded in 1968 has gone to a book which has previously won a sizeable rival award. Few if any have even gone to titles shortlisted or longlisted for a rival.
“No prize committee wants to come second,” one of the most seasoned ex-judges said yesterday.
So an as-yet-unawarded Canadian author could be just the ticket.