Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Orange Goes Broadband

I don't get it, I really don't get it. You have a perfectly good, well-respected name for a literary prize and then you change it to something totally naff!

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 Adichie
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
You can find out much more about all of these titles on the Orange Broadband website.

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!


YTSL said...

The Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. Sounds like that prize for best women's fiction in English is becoming the literary equivalent of English football's League -- no, Milk; no, Littlewoods; no, Worthington; no, Coca Cola; now, Carling -- Cup. AKA the "Mickey Mouse" or "Worthless" Cup probably in no small part due to its various name changes over the years... ;(

Amir said...

Do you remember the 20th day of September?

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Well, I never cared much for the "MAN" Booker either!

bibliobibuli said...

ystl - nicely put!

amir - who could forget? a movie launched in cyberspace? whizzo!

sharanya - yeah booker so sexist lah. we must start a WOman booker prize.

thewailer said...

I'm always interested in reading reviews and reporting on literature, and on the blogsphere, this blog made it all interesting! :)

Lydia Teh said...

Orange Broadband - sounds like a telco's slogan.

Anonymous said...

Orange home broadband have three packages to choose from. All have 18 month contracts and require a BT or similar home line.
Home Starter costs £12 a month or £5 a month with an 18 or 24 month mobile plan
- Up to 2Mb*
- Standard wireless modem
- 6GB a month usage allowance
- Wireless connection
- Evening and weekend UK landline calls included
- Security, e mail and webspace
Home Select costs £20 a month or £10 a month with an 18 or 24 month mobile plan
- Up to 8Mb*
- Livebox wireless modem
- Unlimited usage allowance (fair usage policy applies)
- Wireless connection
- Second line for internet calling
- Security, e mail and webspace
Home Max costs £24 a month or £15 a month with an 18 or 24 month mobile plan
- Up to 8Mb*
- Livebox wireless modem
- Unlimited usage allowance (fair usage policy applies)
- Wireless connection
- Telephone line rental included
- Evening and weekend UK landline calls included
- Second line for internet calling
- Security, e mail and webspace
* Speeds in excess of 2 meg are only available in certain areas. Top speeds vary significantly, particularly according to how far away you live from the exchange. If your line won’t support Orange’s fastest broadband speed they’ll give you the best available. The speed you actually get can also vary depending on the quality of your line, the wiring in your house, the time of day and even the weather.

GaryTheScubaGuy said...

This is great information. I found a good broadband speed checker at http://www.broadband.co.uk

bibliobibuli said...

so you spamming wankers are just talking to yourselves here. sad life! we can't use broadband here anyway in case you hadn't realised it!

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