Last year I was invited to a book signing at a local store. The author in question was Monique Roffey and the book The White Woman on the Green Bicycle. I was unable to attend the signing but the title intrigued me so I did a bit of research and found that the author is a Trinidadian who resides in the UK, and the novel is set here in Trinidad. I was delighted to discover that Ms. Roffey's novel made it to the long list for the Orange Prize this year. Andrea Levy, author of Small Island, made it to the list again this year with The Long Song. Ms. Levy also boasts Caribbean roots and already has two Oranges, among other major prizes, under her belt. A good year, I opine.
I'll be succinct here, gentlemen: you're wrong. I wish gender didn't matter. I really do. Good writing is good writing, right? However, fifteen years of Orange Prize awards cannot even begin to correct the centuries of gender imbalance in awarding major literary prizes. That's just my opinion. Dan Powell makes a good case for the other side here. I'm not convinced, though. Feel free to try and change my mind.