Gordon's 'Misrule' continues to attract literary world's praise

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of Jaimy .


KALAMAZOO--"Lord of Misrule," a novel by Western Michigan University Professor Jaimy Gordon and winner of the 2010 National Book Award, is continuing to attract the attention of judges in the world's top literary prize competitions.

Gordon's book has just made the longlist for the United Kingdom's Orange Prize for Fiction, announced March 8 in London. Now in its 17th year, the prize is the United Kingdom's most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by women. It covers English-language books published worldwide. The 20-book longlist includes seven American women authors, as well as writers from Great Britain, Canada, Ireland and Sweden.

The winner of the annual prize will be announced May 30 during a London awards ceremony.

Set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible, the Orange Prize for Fiction is awarded for the best novel of the year written by a woman. Any woman writing in English--whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter--is eligible.

The winner receives a check for £30,000--about $47,000--and a limited-edition bronze figurine known as a "Bessie," created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven. Both elements of the prize are made possible through an anonymous endowment.

For the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, novels had to be published in the UK between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012. Gordon's "Lord of Misrule" was published in the United States in fall 2010. It was published last year in Great Britain.

Gordon's acclaimed novel, which is set in the world of West Virginia horse racing in the early 1970s, captured the National Book Award for fiction in November 2010, shortly after it was published. "Lord of Misrule" was later named a finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest peer-juried fiction prize in the nation.

Jaimy Gordon

Gordon is a Western Michigan University professor of English and a faculty member in the University's celebrated creative writing program. She has taught at WMU since 1981.

A Baltimore native, Gordon earned degrees from Antioch College and Brown University. She has published three other novels—"Bogeywoman," "Shamp of the City-Solo" and "She Drove Without Stopping." The latter, often described as a woman's road novel, was an American Library Association Notable Book for 1990. Gordon won an Academy-Institute Award for her fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1991. "Bogeywoman" made the Los Angeles Times list of the Best Fiction of 2000.