Is the Orange Prize for Fiction, one of U.K.’s most prestigious literary prizes, about to become the Apple Prize for Fiction? According to a report by The Sunday Telegraph, the answer to that fruity question may be a succulent “yes.” Now what did I just say about this being a rather good weekend for iOS and book lovers?
“Oranges are not the only fruit, especially when it comes to the Orange Prize for Fiction,” reads the report’s clever subheading. It’s clever in that it alludes to Apple’s possible involvement as well as to the novel “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.”
“Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit” is a novel by Jeanette Winterson. Winterson is part of a particular group of writers eligible for the Orange Prize for Fiction: female writers. That’s right, the annual Orange Prize for Fiction is noted for giving recognition to the best novels written in English by women of any nationality.
Last May, American author Madeline Miller was announced as the prize winner for her debut novel, “The Song of Achilles.” Also in May, it was announced that Orange, a U.K. telecommunications company, would be ending its sponsorship of its namesake prize. Orange had been backing the award since its launch in 1996.
As noted in The Sunday Telegraph’s report, it had been suggested that either Apple or Blackberry be the next sponsor, in keeping with the fruity theme. Now, it appears that the former company is indeed stepping up to the plate.
Should the deal between Apple and the prize organizers prove tenable, Apple is expected to thoroughly promote the prize in its iBookstore. But the company is not expected to take a page out of Orange’s book and lend its name to the prize as well.
Whether or not the prize becomes the Apple Prize for Fiction following the confirmation of Apple’s sponsorship, I must say that the prize organizers would be hard-pressed to pick a more prominent benefactor. Its e-book pricing collusion charges notwithstanding, I believe Apple is ripe enough for this sort of thing.