Madeline Miller Wins The Orange Prize 2012 With Debut Novel

Madeline Miller has won The Orange Prize for Fiction 2012 with The Song of Achilles, her debut novel.

The American claimed the award - along with £30,000 in prize money - at a champagne reception at London's Royal Festival Hall.

She saw off competition from Esi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues, Anne Enright's The Forgotten, Georgina Harding's Painter of Silence, Cynthia Ozick's Foreign Bodies and Ann Patchett's State of Wonder to win what is one of the world's most pretigious awards for female authors writing novels in English.

Accepting the award, bathed in the orange hue of the sponsor's spotlights, a clearly delighted Miller said: "I am absolutely shaken. To be in the presence of the other authors was such an incredible honour for me. I'm overwhelmed.

"Thanks to Ann Patchett - whose dress I am wearing. She's very generous! I am so grateful."

The Song of Achilles retells the classic story of the young prince Patroclus living in Greece in the age of Heroes.

The judging panel this year was made up of writer and chair Joanna Trollope, writer and broadcaster Lisa Appignanesi, journalist Victoria Derbyshire, writer Natalie Haynes and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky.

Her victory was the latest in the competition's 17 year history, and could yet prove to be the last after Orange announced a week ago that it would be withdrawing its sponsorship of the award to focus its efforts on cinema.

Pictures from the evening:

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