2013 Women’s Prize - A.M Holmes wins!
American author A.M. Homes has won the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction with her sixth novel May We Be Forgiven (Granta).
2013 marks the eighteenth year of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, known from 1996 to 2012 as the Orange Prize for Fiction, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.
At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London – hosted by Chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction board, Kate Mosse – the 2013 Chair of Judges, Miranda Richardson, presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine. Both are anonymously endowed. Richardson said: “Our 2013 shortlist was exceptionally strong and our judges’ meeting was long and passionately argued, but in the end we agreed that May we be Forgiven is a dazzling, original, viscerally funny black comedy – a subversion of the American dream. This is a book we want to read again and give to our friends.”
One pundit called the shortlist "staggeringly strong" – and who would argue given that the contenders for the 2013 Women's prize for fiction include two former winners, Zadie Smith and Barbara Kingsolver, and Hilary Mantel, who had already bagged two of the UK's top literary awards.
Mantel is the only novelist to win the Man Booker and Costa book prizes in the same year for Bring Up the Bodies, the second in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Completing the shortlist for the award, formerly known as the Orange prize, were the books by Kate Atkinson, AM Homes and Maria Semple.
The award – created after frustration at an all-male Booker shortlist in 1991 – had been known as the Orange since it was first awarded, to Helen Dunmore, in 1996. Other winners have included Linda Grant, Ann Patchett, Andrea Levy and Marilynne Robinson. When Orange pulled out last year a number of people, including Cherie Blair and Joanna Trollope, stepped in with personal donations to sustain the prize while a new sponsor is found.
- Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
- Flight Behaviour, by Barbara Kingsolver
- Where'd You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
- Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
- May We Be Forgiven, by A M Homes
- NW, by Zadie Smith