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Desmond Elliott Prize unveils 2010 shortlist

21st May 2010

The three novels making up the Desmond Elliott Prize 2010 shortlist have been announced.

Before the Earthquake by Maria Allen, Jacob Polley's Talk of the Town and The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw are all competing for the GBP 10,000 prize, which is awarded to a first novel published in the UK.

Author and journalist Elizabeth Buchan, chair of the judging panel, praised the 'boldness, originality and ambition' of the shortlisted authors.

'With settings ranging from early 20th century southern Italy, to Carlisle in the 1980s to the mysterious St Hauda's Land, their novels make up a diverse, intriguing and hugely rewarding shortlist,' she added.

She also pointed out the range of genres encompassed by the books, noting that the titles cover the coming-of-age tale, magic realism and historical fiction.

In 2009, the Desmond Elliott Prize was won by Edward Hogan for Blackmoor, while Nikita Lalwani scooped the inaugural award in 2008 with Gifted.

The award was founded in honour of publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, after his will stipulated that his estate should fund a prize to support the careers of emerging novelists.

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