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Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 07:20 GMT 08:20 UK
Six writers vie for Orange prize
Marina Lewycka
Marina Lewycka has been shortlisted for her debut novel
The shortlist of six female writers competing for the 10th Orange Prize for Fiction has been announced.

Three Britons and three Americans will vie for the 30,000 prize, with the winner announced on 7 June in London.

Among them is Marina Lewycka, a Briton who was born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II.

The award is for women writing in English. Chair of judges Jenni Murray said: "Now comes the tough job of choosing from such an inspiring group."

'Broad range'

She added: "There's a broad range of subject matter, three American and three British writers, new writers, established writers and a quite astonishing array of titles."

Marina Lewycka, who now lives in Sheffield, has been nominated for her debut novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, a dark comedy about family feuding.

Another British nominee, Jane Gardam, from Kent, is the only author to have won the Whitbread Novel of the Year award twice.

She has been nominated for her 15th novel, Old Filth, about a former international lawyer whose name stood for Failed in London Try Hong Kong.

Mammoth Cheese

Joolz Denby, from Bradford, has been shortlisted for her third novel, Billie Morgan, about a 40-something woman running a jewellery shop who is trying to forget her past as a biker chick and murderer.

The American nominees are Sheri Holman, for The Mammoth Cheese, her third novel, which focuses on the secrets which unravel in her hometown after the media descend on it when Manda Frank gives birth to 11 babies.

Californian writer Maile Meloy has been nominated for her first novel, Liars and Saints, about a family haunted by a kiss.

And Lionel Shriver, an American who lives in London and New York, is nominated for her seventh novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin.

The book is about a career woman who fears her own shortcomings may have caused her son to murder his high-school students.

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