Magazine
Latest Issue

Just like a woman

Why do we need a women-only prize for fiction? Women may write differently but in great writing gender is transcended and women writers must now insist on its irrelevance

The year 1997 has been a good year for women in literature. Muriel Spark won the David Cohen prize, and Beryl Bainbridge the Whitbread. In the recent past, Antonia Byatt, Penelope Fitzgerald, Penelope Lively, Iris Murdoch and Nadine Gordimer have all been Booker winners. So does the women-only Orange prize for fiction, due to make its second award this June, need to exist? The comment, by co-founder Kate Mosse, that “women’s creative achievements are under-represented on prize shortlists” seems plain wrong. But there is another assumption enshrined in the Orange prize: that women write differently. If so, we should consider…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect