The Shortlist

The shortlist for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2010, the award for a first novel published in the UK, was announced on Friday 21 May, 2010.

The writers shortlisted for the prize included acclaimed poet Jacob Polley, teacher Maria Allen and former bookseller Ali Shaw. Described by the judges as both “intriguing and hugely rewarding”; the shortlist spanned a range of genres encompassing the coming-of-age tale, historical fiction and magical realism.

The 2010 shortlist flew the flag for independent publishers as they provided two of the three finalists, Before the Earthquake and The Girl with Glass Feet.

The three novels shortlisted for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2010 were as follows:

Elizabeth Buchan on behalf of the judges, commented:

“We were struck by the boldness, originality and ambition of these three very different writers.  With settings ranging from early twentieth 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.”

The Desmond Elliott Prize 2010 panel of judges was chaired by Elizabeth Buchan who was joined by William Skidelsky, Literary Editor of The Observer, and leading independent bookseller James Daunt, founder of Daunt Books.