Wales Book of the Year 2011 shortlist unveiled

A poetry collection, travel novel and sci-fi story are among the works shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year.

The English-language titles are What the Water Gave Me by Pascale Petit, Cloud Road by John Harrison and Alastair Reynolds's Terminal World.

On the Welsh-language list are Caersaint by Angharad Price, Lladd Duw by Dewi Prysor and Bydoedd by Ned Thomas.

The winners in each language will be announced on 7 July in Cardiff.

Literature Wales announced the 2011 shortlist in Caernarfon and Cardiff.

Francesca Rhydderch, chair of the English-language judges' panel said: "Whittling the long list down from ten to a shortlist of three was no easy task. Each of the ten books on the longlist was wonderful and unique, in our opinion.

"The three titles that made it to the shortlist claimed their place there because they were pitch perfect from start to finish: their authors exerted an artistic control over their work (in three very different genres) that was supremely impressive."

Pascale Petit, who was born in Paris and grew up in France and Wales, was named one of the Next Generation Poets by the Poetry Book Society and Arts Council in 2004.

She has published three full-length poetry collections, two of which were shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and were both Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement.

'Wonderful and unique'

The poems in What the Water Gave Me are spoken in the voice of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and bear the titles of her paintings.

Fiction and travel writer John Harrison works as a freelance writer, guide and lecturer. His short stories have appeared on the BBC, in New Welsh Review, Planet, The Works, and been collected in A Short Primer in Vice.

In Cloud Road: A Journey Through the Inca Heartland, Harrison journeys for five months through this secret country, walking alone into remote villages.

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry in 1966 and spent his early childhood in Cornwall, moving back to Wales at the age of eight.

He has published more than 30 shorter works and nine novels. His second novel Chasm City won the 2001 British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel, and short story Weather won the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention's Seiun Award for Best Translated Short Fiction.

Terminal World has been described as a "snarling, drooling, crazy-eyes mongrel of a book, equal part steampunk, Western, planetary romance and far-future SF".

Both winners - one in Welsh and one in English - will receive £10,000 each and all four runners-up will recieve £1,000.

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