The Women’s Literary Prize is Still Needed

The author Hilary Mantel is in a strong position to make a clean sweep and get all three of Britain’s three top literary prizes following a nomination for the Women’s Prize for fiction, formerly known as the Orange Prize.

She has already won the Booker Prize, and the Costa Prize for her Tudor novel ‘Bring Up the Bodies.’

There are 20 other women authors longlisted for the award, which include Zadie Smith, Gillian Flynn and Barbara Kingslover. But if Mantel wins this will be her third prestigious book prize in a year. So congratulations to her are in order!

The Orange Prize was renamed the Women’s Prize for fiction after the mobile phone company withdrew sponsorship to concentrate on it’s cinema sponsorship. So the £30,000 prize money has been funded by several companies and individuals including: Cherie Blair, Martha Lane Fox and Joanna Trollope.

The Guardian reported that Mantel’s success has led some to suggest that a prize which recognises women authors may not be necessary. But I think prizes like this are hugely important. We must continue to recognise female artists and authors precisely because there is still such a long way to go before they receive the same recognition as men or are celebrated in the same way. So it’s really important that this prize exists.

While Hilary Mantel has been hugely successful in her work, she should not be an exception to the rule, rather her work and success should encourage other young, bright, enthusiastic and gifted women to come forward with their work too. That’s why this prize is so important because it provides inspiration to such women.

The winner will be announced in London on June 5, by which time the organisers hope to have found a new sponsor.

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