Debut novelist wins Orange Prize

Madeline Miller has been awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles, stole the show last night as she was awarded the 2012 Orange prize for fiction

The American novelist won the prize, which recognises English language fiction written by women, with her debut novel which took her 10 years to write.

Ms Miller’s success means she is the fourth American writer to accept the prestigious award and winnings of £30,000 at the awards ceremony in London’s Royal Festival Hall last night.

Chair of judges, Joanna Trollope, says the book is a more than worthy winner describing it as original, passionate, inventive and uplifting.

The prize is the last to be sponsored by Orange after the company announced last week that it is ending its 17 year relationship with the awards ceremony.

The Song of Achilles was published by Bloomsbury in September 2011 and is set in classical Greece. It tells how a shamed young prince is exiled to Phthia where he befriends the strong, Achilles and they fall in love.

The first time writer, is a Latin teacher who graduated from Brown University with a BA and MA in classics. She studied at the Yale School of Drama specializing in adapting classical tales for a modern audience.

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