Claire Fuller has won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015 for her novel Our Endless Numbered Days (Fig Tree).
Our Endless Numbered Days was described by chair of the judges Louise Doughty as "both shocking and subtle, brilliant and beautiful, a poised and elegant work that recalls the early work of Ian McEwan in the delicacy of its prose and the way that this is combined with some very dark undertones".
The Desmond Elliott Prize is given to debut fiction and is worth £10,000 to the winner.
Doughty used the occasion of the award ceremony to call on publishers to do more to support writers beyond their first books. Doughty said: "Ian Rankin and Hilary Mantel both wrote for years before making the big time with sales. Ian Rankin famously succeeded with his seventh novel, and Hilary Mantel wrote brilliant, strange and wonderful books time and time again before Wolf Hall, her 10th. her publishers not only kept publishing her, they kept faith with her as she wrote the books she wanted to write.
"I call on the publishers of all the books on our wonderful shortlist to support these writers not only with their sparkling debuts but with their fourth, fifth, sixth novels. Short-termism in publishing is not only devastating for the authors who don't get the support they deserve, it's bad for business. The publishing industry needs to commit to its authors for the long haul or we risk letting the next Hilary Mantel or Ian Rankin slip through our fingers."
The other two novels shortlisted for this year's prize were Emma Healey's Elizabeth is Missing (Viking) and Carys Bray's A Song for Issy Bradley (Hutchinson).
Joining Doughty on the judging panel were Foyles' Jonathan Ruppin and journalist Viv Groskop.
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