Orange July Giveaway #2: Beyond Black

Beyond Black by Hilary MantelGIVEAWAY CLOSED!

Up for grabs: Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

Orange Connection: Short List, 2006

Your activity: Do you think the Orange Prize is sexist? Should there be a prize only for women writers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Reminders: Orange July giveaways are open to all Orange July participants (you must be signed up through this Mr. Linky page), is open to anyone around the world, and you can win more than one giveaway. You’re welcome to participate in any giveaway activities without being entered into the drawing; just let me know in your comments. Giveaway closes at 9pm Eastern. Have fun!


19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 19:22:53

    When I first thought about it, I thought: “yes, this prize is sexist.” But then I realized that EVERY prize narrows down the contestants somehow. Is it any worse to give a prize only to women than it is to give a prize only to American writers, for instance? It is necessary to narrow down choices or else a longlist would be impossible to make. If an organization wants to dedicate its prize money to women only, who am I to complain?


  2. Beth Parks Aronson
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 19:40:57

    Given that I read prize winners all the time and have had no problem reading plenty of men, I think a prize for women writers is a good thing. I was shocked at how few of these novels and even writers I had read until I joined the Orange Prize Project!


  3. Jenny Colvin (@readingenvy)
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 19:59:45

    I see the Orange Prize more as a way to focus on female writers. It also seems to pull in quite a few international writers, which I always need more exposure to!


  4. The Ramblings of a Demented Mind
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:06:10

    Yes, I think Orange Prize is the sexiest. And also that it is a good thing cos it allows to celebrate female writers all over the world.


    • The Ramblings of a Demented Mind
      Jul 02, 2012 @ 23:46:03

      Hahaaa! Ouch! I read the question wrong! In my defense The Man Booker prize is sorta masculine! 😀 Anyway, I don’t think Orange Prize is sexist. It is okay to have a separate prize to celebrate female authors. And as Paperback Lover has suggested if its necessary, its okay to have a prize for male authors as well! 😀


  5. Ally - Snow Feathers
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:13:18

    I don’t find the prize sexist at all, maybe because I truly believe women deserve such a prize, meant only for them. I also think that literature written by women is different from the one written by men, so I am happy such a prize exists, and I am sure I can find great works perusing the long or short lists.


  6. rainpebble/belva
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:36:45

    I absolutely do not find the Orange Prize sexist. And if it were, good enough. For decades women had to write under a male pen-name to get published or write a particular type of ‘female drivel’. Thank God those days are over!


  7. Pragya
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:40:11

    No way, is its sexist. Absolutely there should be a prize for women writers coz there are lots of talented ones out there.


  8. Peggy
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 21:16:27

    Let me see. I suspect that the people who call the Orange Prize sexist are the same people who call affirmative action racist. Give me a break!
    And I’ll give somebody else a break by withdrawing my name from the drawing for *Beyond Black*. I haven’t read it yet, but I look forward to it – and I have a copy!


  9. Helen
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 21:24:17

    Yes, and no. Yes, the author’s gender is one of the factors in selection. If that is sexist, then that’s a good thing, for the reasons stated above. No, in that it only goes some of the way to levelling out the effect of gender bias (conscious and unconscious) which is pervasive in all areas of our lives, and very obviously present when it comes to nominating and selecting authors for prizes.


  10. Paperback Lover
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 21:45:15

    it’s not sexist. There could be a prize only for men as well, if necessary. It’s not the who is sexist, it’s the jury, the nominators, the publishers, the readers, etc.


  11. Patricia
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 23:09:11

    I think of it as more celebrational than sexist, but understand how it can be read as either.


  12. Pogue
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 23:40:06

    I do not think that it is sexest. I do like that there is a prize for women authors. Some of these authors I would have ever read if not for the Orange Prize.


  13. AnneDC
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 00:01:38

    I think if women authors clearly dominated the publishing industry, you could call it sexist (the word connotes a complaint of unfairness after all). Instead I see it more as showcasing writers who, simply because they are women, are more likely to be overlooked in the mainstream publishing world, which is not free of gender bias. To me it’s much like awarding a prize for Canadian literature or translated fiction–focussing in on a smaller subset of books which might not get wide attention otherwise. I do think there is an argument to be made for whether this helps or hurts women writers overall, by possibly relegating them to a separate and (perceived) lesser genre. I assume this is one of the reasons some authors refuse to participate.

    By the way I do not need [Beyond Black]–I have not read it yet but I do own it!


  14. nomadreader
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 02:23:12

    I don’t think it’s sexist, just as I’m okay with the prize limiting itself to works written in English and works published in the UK. That being said, do I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need a women-only prize? Yes, but I fear that year is far, far away. Knowing the prize’s history–launched in response to an all-male Booker shortlist, makes it clear it was in reaction to sexism. I haven’t yet seen a prize list, aside from the Orange, with an all-female short list.


  15. Bonnie
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 03:10:23

    I wish all things were equal and women writers would get the accolades and, therefore, the prizes they deserve, but that’s simply not the case. The Orange Prize may very well be sexist, by definition, but it’s also necessary. I just hope they find a new sponsor and the prize continues ad infinitum.


  16. Lisa
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 04:24:44

    I think the prize is sexist but necessary. Until other awards longlist, shortlist and pick more female authors as winners, and once in a while in some years even outnumber male authors, the orange award is needed. Plus putting gender aside, the orange award chooses really good books, guaranteed good reads, unlike other awards which I feel chooses books for their literary qualities and actually reading them is boring.


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