From this year's shortlist of remarkable remarkable variety debut novelist Madeline Miller has been awarded the Orange Prize for her novel The Song of Achilles
We detail the six listed novels below -
Esi Edugyan: Half Blood Blues
From Weimar Berlin to the fall of Paris, and on to the present day, danger, jealousy and inspiration combine to tempt a man to a secret betrayal. The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there's more to the journey than he thought when Chip shares a mysterious letter, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero's fate was settled.
Anne Enright: The Forgotten Waltz
If it hadn't been for the child then none of this might have happened. She saw me kissing her father. She saw her father kissing me. The fact that a child got mixed up in it all made us feel that it mattered, that there was no going back. The Forgotten Waltz is that rare thing: the literary page turner...It is an acutely tender depiction of the complex familial bonds joining us, a delicate portrait of love, loss and hope, from a formidably talented writer.
Cynthia Ozick: Foreign Bodies
Bea Nightingale is divorced, middle-aged and alone, teaching in an impoverished borough of 1950s New York. A plea from her estranged brother gives her the excuse to get away, leaving for Paris to retrieve a nephew she barely knows. Travelling from America to France, Bea leaves the stigma of divorce on the far side of the Atlantic; newly liberated, she chooses to defend her nephew and his girlfriend Lili by waging a war of letters on the brother she has promised to help. But Bea's generosity is a mixed blessing: those she tries to help seem to be harmed, and as Bea's family unravel from around her, she finds herself once again drawn to the husband she thought she had left in the past...
Georgina Harding: Painter of Silence
Iasi, Romania, the early 1950s. A man is found on the steps of a hospital, frail as a fallen bird. He carries no identification and utters no words, and it is days before anyone discovers that he is deaf and mute. And then a young nurse called Safta brings paper and pencils with which he can draw. Slowly, painstakingly, memories appear on the page. The memories are Safta's also. For the man is Augustin, son of the cook at the manor at Poiana that was her family home. But while Augustin's world remained the same size Safta's expanded to embrace languages, society - and love. Safta left before the war. Augustin stayed among the armies and the horrors, becoming an unlikely victim of the Communists. There are things that he must tell Safta that may be more than simple drawings can convey.
Ann Patchett: State of Wonder
On the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever. Dr Annick Swenson refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out. Anders Eckman, a mild-mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate. A curt letter reporting his untimely death is all that returns. Now Marina Singh, Anders's colleague and once a student of the mighty Dr Swenson, is their last hope. Compelled by the pleas of Anders's wife, who refuses to accept that her husband is not coming home, Marina leaves the snowy plains of Minnesota and retraces her friend's steps into the heart of the South American darkness, determined to track down Dr. Swenson and uncover the secrets being jealously guarded in the rainforest.
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