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National Book Awards shortlist unveiled in US

15th October 2009

The finalists of the US-based National Book Awards 2009 have been announced, with Irish-born author Colum McCann included among the fiction category's contenders.

Competing with McCann's Let the Great World Spin are Far North by Marcel Theroux and Daniyal Mueenuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.

The other two shortlisted novels are Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips and Bonnie Jo Campbell's American Salvage.

Those judging the fiction category include acclaimed authors Alan Cheuse, Junot Diaz, Jennifer Egan, Charles Johnson and Lydia Millet.

Organised by the National Book Foundation, the awards are intended to 'recognise the best of American literature, raising the cultural appreciation of great writing in the country while advancing the careers of both established and emerging writers'.

The competition, which was founded in 1950, also recognises writers through its non-fiction, poetry and young people categories.

Last year's fiction prize was scooped by Peter Matthiessen for Shadow Country.

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