Auberon Waugh

Nobody Loves Them, Nobody Cares

In the new boastful atmosphere being encouraged by Tony Blair, where Britons are supposed to take pride in the notion that we make the best vacuum cleaners, the best pop music, design the best cushions, nobody has had much to say about the nation’s writers. In fact, it was noticeable that once again in this country’s richest fiction award, the £30,000 Orange Prize, the shortlist of six this year comprised four American women, one Irish and only one Briton – Pauline Melville, of Guyanese descent, for her novel The Ventriloquist’s Tale, set in Guyana.

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