Thursday, October 06, 2005


Good, better, best

Say it ten times fast:
Andrea Levy's Small Island was chosen by a panel comprising the ten chairs of judges from the ten years of the Orange Prize for Fiction as the best Orange Prize for Fiction winner over the 10 years that the Prize has been running.
Am I the only one to find this procedure completely silly and superfluous? This is no knock at Levy's novel, which I'd like to read. But the idea of a 10-year-old prize ponderously reconvening its judges for such a chore--were they each alloted 10 cups of coffee and 10 Cadbury Chocolate Biscuits during the deliberations?--strikes me as intrinsically goofy. Kate Mosse, co-founder of the Orange Prize, did address the issue in The Independent: "Mosse admitted the prize seemed quite young to be celebrating in such a fashion. But she said the idea for marking the anniversary had come from libraries and booksellers." Whatever. Congratulations to Ms. Levy in any case. The good news: my cantankerous moment for today is over. Normal broadcasting will now resume.

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