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Barbara Kingsolver wins Orange Prize for Fiction


Kingsolver crowned Orange winner

Barbara Kingsolver has won this year's Orange Prize for Fiction with her sixth novel The Lacuna.

The US author beat favourite, Booker prize-winner Hilary Mantel, and four other writers, to take the £30,000 prize at a central London ceremony.

The award, which recognises the work of fiction written by women from around the world, is now in its 15th year.

Author and TV producer Daisy Goodwin, chair of the judges, praised the winning book's "breathtaking scale".

Kingsolver was presented with her award by Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, at an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday.

The Very Thought of You - Rosie Alison
The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver
Black Water Rising - Attica Locke
A Gate at the Stairs - Lorrie Moore
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle - Monique Roffey

The 55-year-old was previously nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1999 for her novel The Poisonwood Bible.

The Lacuna centres on writer Harrison Shepherd, and his social-climbing mother Salome, who ends up mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

The role leads to a job in Rivera's house, where Harrison makes himself useful to the muralist, his wife Frida Kahlo and the exiled Bolshevik leader, Leon Trotsky.

Goodwin said: "We had very different tastes on the panel, but in the end we went for passion not compromise.

"We chose The Lacuna because it is a book of breathtaking scale and shattering moments of poignancy."

Goodwin was joined on the panel by rabbi, author and broadcaster Baroness Neuberger; novelist and critic Michele Roberts; journalist Miranda Sawyer; and British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman.

Any woman writing in English, whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter, is eligible.

Previous winners include Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009), Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006).

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