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Press Release: Prizes and Awards
Shortlist Revealed For The 2012 Guardian First Book Award

Posted at 5:45PM Thursday 08 Nov 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Guardian First Book Award, in association with Waterstones, has been announced and features the literary debuts from authors Kevin Powers, Chad Harbach, Katherine Boo, Lindsey Hilsum and Kerry Hudson.

The Guardian First Book Award is unique amongst book prizes for rewarding new writing across fiction and non-fiction, and for being judged by both an industry judging panel and readers from Waterstones book groups.

The 2012 shortlist is:

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, Sceptre

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, Fourth Estate

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum by Katherine Boo, Portobello Books Ltd

Sandstorm by Lindsey Hilsum, Faber & Faber

Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson, Chatto & Windus

The annual award - established in 1999 and now in its 14th year - is open to all first-time authors writing in English, or translated into English, across all genres, and aims to recognise and reward the finest new writing talent. A winner will be now be selected by a judging panel that includes Jeanette Winterson, William Dalrymple, Ahdaf Soueif, Kate Summerscale and Katharine Viner.

The shortlist was selected by the judging panel in collaboration with five Waterstones reading groups from around the UK who selected their favourite books from the longlist to feed  into the judges' discussions.

Lisa Allardice, chair of the judging panel and editor of the Guardian's Review supplement, said: "The books on this year's shortlist, fiction and non-fiction, range across the globe and confront some of the most urgent issues of recent years: from the slums of Mumbai to Aberdeen's sink estates; to the frontline in Iraq and the Libyan revolution - not forgetting an already hit novel about American college baseball. They are all impressive and strikingly original achievements. The judging lunch promises to be long and lively..."

Stuart Broom, events co-ordinator, Waterstones, said: "Whatever the genre of book up for discussion this year, the readers in the groups had a real hunger for narrative. Strong voices and idiosyncratic points of view won through. One of the Leeds readers praised one of the novels as "a raging good story" and that seems to have been what the shortlisted books all delivered."

The winner for the 2012 Guardian First Book Award will be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday 29 November and will receive a £10,000 prize plus an advertising package in the Guardian and the Observer. Previous winners of the Guardian First Book Award include Zadie Smith and Jonathan Safran Foer. Last year's winner was Siddhartha Mukherjee for his book, The Emperor of All Maladies.

To find out more about the awards visit: guardian.co.uk/firstbookaward




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