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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Writer hopeful of Orange prize
Sarah Waters - writer of Fingersmith
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is hotly tipped to win
Welsh-born author Sarah Waters is waiting to hear if her novel Fingersmith has won the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction.

The 35-year-old from Neyland, Pembrokeshire, is one of six writers shortlisted for the award, given for the best English-language novel written by a woman in the UK.

Orange Prize Shortlist
Sarah Waters -
Fingersmith
Anna Burns -
No Bones
Helen Dunmore -
The Siege
Maggie Gee -
The White Family
Chloe Hooper -
A Child's Book of True Crime
Ann Patchett -
Bel Canto

The winner of the 30,000 prize - the biggest for UK fiction - will be announced at a gala event at the Royal Opera House, London, on Tuesday night.

Fingersmith is the third in a trilogy of 19th century historical novels from Ms Waters, who previously wrote Tipping The Velvet and Affinity.

In 1998 she received a London Arts Board New London Writers Award, followed in 2000 by the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Somerset Maugham award for Affinity.

Once again there is a lesbian relationship at the centre of the story, as an orphaned girl from a working-class area of London is sent to work for a wealthy heiress.

Bookmakers William Hill have named Ms Waters as 2-1 favourite for the prize.

Her rivals include previous Orange Prize winner Helen Dunmore.

Orange Prize shortlist

  • Anna Burns - No Bones
  • Helen Dunmore - The Siege
  • Maggie Gee - The White Family
  • Chloe Hooper - A Child's Book of True Crime
  • Ann Patchett - Bel Canto
  • Sarah Waters - Fingersmith

The judging panel includes radio presenter Sue MacGregor, actress Fiona Shaw, novelist AL Kennedy, professor of English literature at Cambridge University Gillian Beer, and Julie Wright, senior book buyer at WH Smith

Hard choice

Ms MacGregor said: "It was difficult to pick only six but I think we have come up with a fine selection for the shortlist.

"This is the first year we have so much UK talent on the Orange Prize shortlist, with four UK authors.

Sue MacGregor
Sue MacGregor is chair of the judging panel

"Two novels are exciting debuts and Helen Dunmore a former Orange Prize winner makes it on the list. The final choice will indeed be a hard one."

Dunmore won the first Orange Prize in 1996, for her novel A Spell of Winter Viking.

Last year Australian novelist Kate Grenville won the award for The Idea of Perfection.

There was no room on the shortlist for popular author Joanne Harris and her novel Five Quarters of the Orange, who was one of the more well-known authors originally included in the longer short list.


Where I Live, South West Wales
See also:

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