Somali author Nadifa Mohamed up for first book prize

Nadifa Mohamed Mohamed's debut novel Black Mamba Boy is published by HarperCollins

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An author born in Somalia has been shortlisted for the 2010 Guardian First Book award.

Nadifa Mohamed, who spent her early years in Hargeisa, Somaliland, before moving to the UK, is cited for her debut novel Black Mamba Boy.

The book, which describes a journey from her Somalian homeland to Port Talbot in Wales, is also shortlisted for this year's Dylan Thomas Prize.

The winners of both literary prizes will be announced on 1 December.

Black Mamba Boy is one of three novels and two non-fiction works in the running for the Guardian's £10,000 prize.

Also in contention are Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman, about a boxer living in the east London of the 1930s, and Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto, a novel by Maile Chapman set in a women's sanatorium in Finland.

The non-fiction works shortlisted are Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz, and Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris.

The former is a study of why human beings make everyday errors, while the latter is subtitled English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper.

Clare Armitstead, the Guardian's literary editor, said the shortlist "reflects one of the year's big literary themes - how to tell stories in our new era".

Actress Diana Quick, journalist Ekow Eshun and the novelist and poet Adam Foulds are among those who will join her on the judging panel.

Last year's winner was Petina Gappah for her short story collection, An Elegy for Easterly.

Mohamed is one of six writers up for the £30,000 Dylan Thomas prize, presented each year by the University of Wales.

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