Two titles picked for BBC2’s "Culture Show" special on debut novelists, broadcast in March, have made it to the shortlist for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011.
Ned Beauman’s Boxer Beetle (Sceptre), also shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, will go up against Stephen Kelman’s Pigeon English (Bloomsbury) for the £10,000 gong. The list is completed by Anjali Joseph’s Saraswati Park (Fourth Estate).
Chair of judges Edward Stourton said: "In a strong field these three books stood out for very different reasons; one is startlingly original and written with compelling energy, one is subtle, complex and finely-woven, and one a remarkable imaginative achievement that deals with a difficult subject. Anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction should read them all."
Bookies William Hill have already backed Joseph as the 6/4 favourite, with Kelman’s novel in second at 7/4 and Beauman at 2/1. The prize was inaugurated in honour of the late publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott to support new writers. The winner will be announced on 23rd June.
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