Novelist Madeline Miller has won the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel, The Song of Achilles. Miller accepted her award at a London ceremony along with a £30,000 cash prize (approximately $46,521 USD) and the “Bessie,” a limited edition bronze figurine.
Miller spent ten years writing The Song of Achilles prior to its release. In addition to her writing career, she also serves as a Latin teacher. Past winners of this award include Barbara Kingsolver‘s The Lacuna (2010), Zadie Smith‘s On Beauty (2006) and Ann Patchett‘s Bel Canto (2002).
The judging committee included writer Joanna Trollope, novelist Lisa Appignanesi, journalist Victoria Derbyshire, writer Natalie Haynes and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky. Chair Trollope gave this statement in the release: “This is a more than worthy winner – original, passionate, inventive and uplifting. Homer would be proud of her.”
Earlier this month, the mobile phone company Orange revealed it will end its sponsorship of the U.K. literary award that bears its name.