Tuesday, June 07, 2005

We Need to Talk About the Orange Prize

Congrats to fellow Serpent's Tail author Lionel Shriver for winning the Orange Prize with her novel We Need To Talk About Kevin. She wins an orange.

Interesting that the BBC - supposed champion of good reporting - has this to say:

It is Shriver's seventh book and was originally published by the small US company Serpent's Tail after being rejected by a string of agents and major publishers.
Since when was Serpent's Tail a US company? They had a US office once (I think), but the BBC of all people could have mentioned that it was a London publisher. Not only a London publisher, but the publisher of the Nobel Laureate.

And why the hell aren't men allowed to win the Orange Prize? Eh? Imagine the stink if they launched The Banana Prize For Men.

But that's for another day. Again, big congrats to Lionel.

12 comments:

Russel said...

I used to believe Serpents Tail was US but that's because I knew them only for Walter Mosely's and George Pelecanos' books (Both with the best covers those guys have had in the UK). Then again I was a casual book buyer and not a reporter.

And, uh, *banana* prize for men? So many jokes here; luckily I'm above it all.

Russel said...

I used to believe Serpents Tail was US but that's because I knew them only for Walter Mosely's and George Pelecanos' books (Both with the best covers those guys have had in the UK). Then again I was a casual book buyer and not a reporter.

And, uh, *banana* prize for men? So many jokes here; luckily I'm above it all.

Russel said...

Why won't these comments things ever do what I ask? Didn't mean to post twice. Sorry if it looks like everyone and their aunt is responding here (although I can get my aunt to respond if you like!)

Jennifer Jordan said...

Russel, I would love to see you aunt respond and perhaps you could write a lovely poem?

Not fond of the idea of a prize slanted towards gender. It should be based on bribes, ass kissing and flagrant bias on the judges part.

I knew Serpents Tail was a UK publisher and I'm a crass and brash American.

Russel said...

Jen

I'm usually quite uncertain of my own name so for me to realise the nationality of a publisher straight off would probably be a miracle. All the same any reporter should do their homework.

And really, no one wants to seem my poetry ever - - I used to write lyrics for a band in school. We were universally recognised as the worst band ever - couldn't even get a gig (but we did lose a drummer in mysterious circumstances a-la Spinal Tap)

Not sure I like the idea of a prize based on bribes. I'm a Fifer, the meanest of all Scots, I'd never win anything!

Charlie Williams said...

Russel - you're really going for total domination of this thread, aren't you. Jen's one comment to your four. Nice work.

Hey, I won't ask you to post some lyrics, but could you name one or two of your song titles?

Jennifer Jordan said...

Well, Russel, you must have won the 'Meanest of all Scots' contest to post such a boast. I think we're even the "Most Likely to Post without Reveiwing Comment for Errors" contest.

I, too, want to hear a few of these supposed worst song titles. You biggy meany, you!

Russel said...

Its a gene inbuilt with Fifers that we're mean with the money. I'm nothing special, although I do try...

As to titles of songs, well they were the best bit... the kind of titles that you thought, there might be a real song there... Twisted Mind, Ideas of Heaven and I Love (actually, that one was written by our guitarist) all sounded like plausible real songs.

And then you got the lyrics.

Look away now. Really. Phil Collins does better lyrics than me.

There was a girl I liked who was rather of limited stature (I think she was five nothing) and I decided to pen an ode in her honour; a love song for the short. It had a country twang to it and a great middle eight (all courtesy of our guitarist who was very talented but suffered from a fear of performing on stage). And then it had verses like this (I know no one asked but having remembered them I have been unable to stop grimacing the last hour or so):

Oh don't you know that you make me so pleased
When your head is down at my knees
And usually you get into the house by the cat flap

There exists somewhere in this world a recording of that song alongside a recording of the horrifically sugar-sweet I Love (Honestly, diabetics would be banned from listening to it) and several acoustic versions of Manics numbers. I pray the man who last had it has recorded over the thing.

And thus, I continue my domination of this thread. Soon I shall progress to the wider world (picture, if you can, me stroking a white cat at this point) and nothing shall stop me.

Russel's Aunt said...

I think its the best thing he ever wrote, you know... (He said I'd turn up)

Charlie Williams said...

Russel... those lyrics, they're... I... [dies]

Russel said...

I told you to look away.

Jennifer Jordan said...

OK, 'your head at my waist' I can understand the connotations of but 'your head at my knees'... oh.

Jesus.

Well, yea, Russel, you really dominate this thread AND you win the banana prize.