Barbara Kingsolver's "The Lacuna" was one of "three beautiful daughters" agonized over by this year's Orange Prize judges.
Barbara Kingsolver won this year's Orange Prize for English-language fiction by women. But it wasn't an easy decision, chief judge Daisy Goodwin told the press. According to Goodwin there were three novels viewed as "hot favorites" by the judges and choosing among was like "choosing between your three beautiful daughters."
These three titles – one by a British author, two by Americans– certainly make for an eclectic grouping.
A Monitor review of "A Gate at the Stairs" called the book "a sharply observed coming-of-age novel about Tassie Keltjin, a bright Midwestern farm girl for whom college offers a liberating taste of the cosmopolitan." Tassie is a precocious naive who "might not be quite as sophisticated as she thinks reading Sylvia Plath has made her." But there is nothing naive about the story built around her. The review notes that Moore "has been masquerading for more than a decade as one of the finest short story writers in North America, when in fact, she’s an even better novelist."