I didn't want to leave last night's wonderful news that The Song of Achilles has won The Orange Prize for Fiction without another word or two on the subject as I couldn't be more pleased and am as excited as if I'd won it myself!
I feel very protective of Madeline's book having seen it as something special from the outset (I read it before publication last year), and so when I read reviews or newspaper reports which despite being admiring contain fatuous, wrong-headed remarks which show that the writer hasn't 'got' the book at all, I want to leap to its defence and say again that it is a most finely-wrought, beautifully crafted piece of writing, stunning in its pairing of style with subject matter. I ended my original post on it thus:
"If this were a painting it would be an expanse of calm white grounding areas of intense, vivid colour, its simplicity drawing the eye, the skill of its making a magnetic charge; as a book, it's one that cannot be put down, its imaginative power lingering long."
I hope that this prize helps the book reach an even wider, ever more appreciative readership, and that its strength and unique identity will continue to be recognised and lauded.
If you'd like to know a bit more about the book's gestation, what influenced it and how Madeline approached the writing, please click here. Madeline is currently in the UK and has a number of events coming up over the next few days; do try to see her if you can - she is delightful.