Some things I remember:
- Pretty sure the author was female
- The novel had won some award or other
- The title was one word (I think) and it started with "I" (I think)
- It would have come out in the mid to late 90s or early 2000s
- It was a paperback or trade paperback, in English. The book was originally written in English as far as I know.
- The cover, if I remember correctly, had an orangish background.
The plot involved a sole human representative to what was effectively an alien "United Nations" type of organization. There were myriad types of aliens, many of whom were completely biologically incompatible. Even the ones that could live in the same conditions generally found each other either repugnant or incomprehensible.
The main character ended up feeling incredibly lonely and was "set up" with a superficially similar humanoid female, but found their pheromones were incompatible and it was still difficult to communicate.