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Friday, 3 November, 2000, 10:32 GMT
Zadie Smith flies Brit lit flag
Books
The Guardian First Book awards has a 10,000 first prize
Author Zadie Smith is the only Briton shortlisted in the Guardian First Book awards, for her acclaimed novel White Teeth.

Her debut novel revolves around the life of immigrants in London and is among five books being considered for the prestigious award.


These are world class writers, all of whom are working at the forefront of their genres

Clare Armitstead

There are two novels and three works of non-fiction on this year's shortlist.

The other finalists include Los Angeles-based Mark Z Danielewski for his novel House of Leaves and New York writer David Eggers for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

Canadian author Naomi Klein's No Logo, and Californian-based Andrew Pham's Catfish and Mandala: a Vietnamese Odyssey are also on the list.

The 10,000 prize will be announced next month.

The award will be judged by novelists Julian Barnes, David Baddiel and Toby Litt alongside Steve Jones, broadcaster Kirsty Young, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and literary editor Claire Armitstead.

'New voices'

Readers at Borders Books shops in London, York, Cheshire Oaks and Glasgow helped choose the shortlist.

Claire Armitstead, who will chair the judges, said: "The fact that Zadie Smith is the only British writer to be shortlisted merely underlines that these are world class writers, all of whom are working at the forefront of their genres.

"It is terrific that our judges - and particularly the Borders reading groups - have been so quick to recognise and understand these new voices."

Zadie Smith first sprang to public attention three years ago when, as a 21-year-old, her first novel was bought by a publisher based on just 80 completed pages.

There was widespread surprise in literary circles when Smith was not shortlisted for this year's Booker prize, the winner of which is announced on 7 November.

Earlier this year she failed to win the Orange prize despite being the bookmakers' favourite.

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