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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Londoners Diary

To the Orange Broadband Prize For Fiction ceremony in the ballroom of the Festival Hall. I've no idea why I was invited. On the rare occasions I've expressed any view on this it's been to question whether we still need a fiction prize for women novelists. On the basis of the remarks from the stage it's precisely this kind of male observation that is most valued by the organisers because it helps keep the siege mentality at simmering point. Anyway, the occasion was notable for:
  • the man from Orange making the best judged sponsors speech I've heard in a while
  • the main prize going to the estimable Rose Tremain
  • the candidates for Best New Writer being described as "three great women who've written great books"
  • the sun arrowing over the Thames as I crossed Hungerford Bridge on one of those evenings that make you think "dull would he be who could pass by" etc etc
  • The rapture on the faces of the cloakroom staff as they watched the paparazzi shoot frame after frame of token showbiz person Geri Haliwell