31 May 2012

Achilles novel wins Orange prize

4:04 pm on 31 May 2012

US author Madeline Miller won the Orange Prize for fiction on Wednesday for her debut novel The Song of Achilles, a Homeric tale of love and friendship.

The novel tells the story of Patroclus, an awkward young prince in exile whose friendship with ancient Greek hero Achilles grows into something far deeper.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little realising what awaits.

"Homer would be proud of her,'' said Orange Prize panel chair Joanna Trollope in a statement.

The Orange Prize for Fiction is awarded to the best novel of the year written in English by a woman and comes with a cheque for £30,000, Reuters reports.

Previous winners include Tea Obreht for The Tiger's Wife (2011), Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006) and Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005).