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Barbara Kingsolver '77 Awarded UK's Prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction

June 9, 2010

Barbara Kingsolver 2009-s.jpgJune 9, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. — "American novelist Barbara Kingsolver took home the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction on Wednesday with her sixth novel, The Lacuna, beating bookmakers' favorite Hilary Mantel," reports the Associated Press. "Kingsolver, who had not published a novel in nine years, said she was 'stunned and thrilled' as she received the 30,000 pound ($45,000) prize -- open to any novel by a woman published in English -- at London's Royal Festival Hall."

Kingsolver, a 1977 graduate of DePauw University, was one of six writers on the shortlist for the award.

According to Daisy Goodwin, who chaired judging for the Orange Prize, "We chose The Lacuna because it is a book of breathtaking scale and shattering moments of poignancy. We had very different tastes on the panel, but in the end we went for passion not compromise."

"In my heart, I don't believe that beautiful works of art can be ranked," Kingsolver said as she accepted the Orange Prize. "I'll take it home, though," she added, and the audience responded with laughter.

Lacuna Barbara Kingsolver.JPGRead more here. Video of the award being presented can be found at the BBC's Web site.

The Lacuna was published in November 2009 and was one of five finalists for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Barbara Kingsolver's thirteen books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams and The Poisonwood Bible, which was on the shortlist for the 1999 Orange Prize. Translated into nineteen languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal.

Read the author's reflections on her years at DePauw here.

In 1994, Kingsolver delivered the commencement address at DePauw, and was also awarded an honorary degree during the ceremony. A summary of her speech -- including an MP3 of the complete address, which was titled "As Little Advice as Possible" -- can be found here.

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