Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chapter 10 on the Writes of Women

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chapter 10 on the Writes of Women

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Whetstone

Some of the hottest new novels are up for a big prize ( but you too can be a winner, as David Whetstone explains.

The shortlist for the 10th Orange Prize for Fiction was announced yesterday and The Journal has teamed up with the competition organisers to offer the six competing titles as a prize ( plus a PAYG Sony Ericsson k700i camera phone.

The Orange Prize for Fiction was established in 1996 to celebrate and promote to the widest possible range of readers novels written by women.

It ruffled a few feathers initially. After all, the Man Booker Prize, despite its title, is open to women so why this preferential treatment?

But the quality of the winners quickly brought the menfolk on side to the extent that among the reviewers chosen to write about the shortlisted novels on the website ( ( is footballer David James, Manchester City's goalkeeper.

He praises Marina Lewycka's first novel, A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian as "an odd story with an unusual subject matter that made an interesting and often enlightening read".

Previous winners of the prize include Helen Dunmore for A Spell Of Winter (1996); Carol Shields for Larry's Party (1998) and Angela Levy for Small Island (2004).

The prize is worth pounds 30,000 to the winner who will be revealed on June 7.

This year's shortlisted novels are:

Billie Morgan by Joolz Denby (Serpent's Tail)

Billie is in her 40s, running a jewellery shop in Bradford, trying to lead a quiet life and to forget the past.

She was a biker chick, a real hardcore '70s Angel.

She lived a life that was hurtling out of control and it ended in murder.

Now, years later, she has to face the consequences.

This is Joolz Denby's third novel. She lives in Bradford.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam (Chatto & Windus)

Filth, in his heyday, was an international lawyer with a practice in the Far East. Now, only the oldest QCs can remember that his nickname stood for Failed In London, Try Hong Kong.

Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj Orphan ( one of the many young children sent "Home" from the East to be fostered and educated in England. …

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