I didn't much like the Whitbread's rebirth as the Costa Prize (named after the UK coffee chain) but I can live with it.
But I have a much stronger dislike for the new name for the Orange Prize: The Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
The new title reflects the evolution of Orange's business following the introduction of the Orange home broadband service in 2006.says the blurb on the website. To me it not only sounds clumsy ... it just seems so blantantly commercial. Why mess with something that was already fine?!
Still, them who pays their money takes their choice, innit? And it is after all a very necessary prize, highlighting the best women's fiction in English from around the world when female authors play on an uneven field.
And here's the longlist:
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieYou can find out much more about all of these titles on the Orange
Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan
Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Peripheral Vision by Patricia Ferguson
Over by Margaret Forster
The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger
When to Walk by Rebecca Gowers
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
The Observations by Jane Harris
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland
The Girls by Lori Lansens
Alligator by Lisa Moor
What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
Careless by Deborah Robertson
Afterwards by Rachel Seiffert
Ten Days in the Hills by Jane Smiley
Booktest by Test Tester
Digging to America by Anne Tyler
The Housekeeper by Melanie Wallace
Some of the titles have already been nominated for (or have even won) other awards. As Sarah Crowne points out in the Guardian:
"Diversity" is the word on the lips of the 2007 Orange Broadband prize judges this morning, following the announcement of a longlist that features 20 novels from seven different countries, and pits eight first-time novelists against six longlist veterans, a Booker winner and one author - Margaret Forster - who has 23 novels to her name.But, she goes on to ask on the Guardian blog, do we really need to know the whole longlist?
I'm in two minds about it. I like to have lots of recommendations for good reads, but then I get frozen up by the sheer impossiblity of ploughing through everything on the lists when I already have a to-be-read pile the size of Mount Everest. Still I will greet all these books like old friends when I hit the bookshops and warehouse sales and no doubt rapacious bookgreed will over take me, to be followed immediately by an even more debiltating case of bookguilt.
And as a blogger reporting the longlist/shortlist/winner for prize after prize gets a bit taxing ... and I don't know how interested you lot actually are!