Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 16:00 UK

First-timer nominated for Orange

Samantha Harvey
Samantha Harvey has lived in a number places around the world

Author Samantha Harvey has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction for her debut novel.

Harvey, whose book The Wilderness tells the story of a man suffering from Alzheimer's disease, is nominated alongside five other writers.

Irishwoman Deirdre Madden is the only fiction writer to have made the shortlist previously, in 1997.

The prize, which recognises the work of fiction written by women around the world, will be announced on 3 June.

The winner of the 14th prize will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a bronze statue called the Bessie at a ceremony in London's Royal Festival Hall.

Sweeping tale

The other authors on the shortlist are US writer Ellen Feldman, with her story of race and crime in 1930s Alabama.

Samantha Hunt
Samantha Harvey - The Wilderness
Ellen Feldman - Scottsboro
Samantha Hunt (pictured) - The Invention of Everything Else
Deirdre Madden - Molly Fox's Birthday
Marilynne Robinson - Home
Kamila Shamsie - Burnt Shadows

US writers Marilynne Robinson for Home and Samantha Hunt for The Invention of Everything Else have also been nominated, alongside Pakistan-born novelist Kamila Shamsie for Burnt Shadows, which encompasses World War II to the present day.

Shamsie's book will be available to download for free for 24 hours for iPhone users via iTunes from 22 April.

Broadcaster Fi Glover, head of this year's judging panel, said whittling down the contenders to the final six "was far harder than I had imagined".

"We all left the judging room proud of the list we had chosen," she added.

Bookmakers have installed Feldman as the favourite to win with her novel Scottsboro.

Last year's recipient of the prize was Rose Tremain for her novel The Road Home.

Previous winners have included Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy and the late Canadian author Carol Shields.

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