Thursday, 31 May 2012

Glitzy depth

Congratulations to Madeline Miller for her deserved Orange Prize win for The Song of Achilles - and commiserations on the critical Telegraph article about the 'triumph of glitzy storytelling over literary depth'. My favourite for the prize was Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, but as should be evident from my review of Miller's novel, I don't agree with the Telegraph's verdict at all. Given the dreary middle-of-the-road literary novels that often win prizes (see also Anne Enright, The Gathering) I'm thrilled with a win for a book which I see as having 'glitzy depth'. What the Telegraph seems to have missed is that a novel can be outwardly dazzling and gripping while still possessing literary quality (see also: David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas) and that this is incredibly refreshing after many of the worthy reads on the shortlist (I haven't read their favourite, Foreign Bodies, but I couldn't even get started with Georgina Harding's Painter of Silence). If you're interested in reading the glitzy article, click here

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