Orange Is a Female Color
Woodman, Sue, The Nation
May 15 was a sparkling night for the British cultural elite: Within the marble pillars of One Whitehall Place, London's old Liberal Club, more than 400 people in evening dress, champagne in hand, gathered beneath the chandeliers and shelves of fake-leather-bound books to fete the winner of a new literary prize, the Orange Prize for English Language Fiction. The award went to British novelist Helen Dumnore's A Spell of Winter, which beat out five other finalists: The Book of Colour, by Julia Blackburn; Spinsters, by Pagan Kennedy; The Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan; Ladder of Years, by Anne Tyler; and Eveless Eden, by Marianne Wiggins.
Although the awards presentation was the kind of event that the British cultural elite love--a combination of elegant and schmoozy, with a bracing dash of controversy--the fact that it went off so smoothly was something of a triumph. For the Orange Prize, designed exclusively for women writers, had set off a furious, weekslong debate in the British media about the value of winning such an explicitly "sexist" prize. Novelist A. S. Byatt said she felt it " ghettoized" women. Anita Brookner, a former Booker Prize winner, felt it was "positive discrimination" and refused to allow her …
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Publication information: Article title: Orange Is a Female Color. Contributors: Woodman, Sue - Author. Magazine title: The Nation. Volume: 263. Issue: 1 Publication date: July 1, 1996. Page number: 34+. © 1999 The Nation Company L.P. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.
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