First Book

Guardian First Books Award 2010

The shortlist was:

Nadifa Mohamed's Black Mamba Boy is a homage to the author's father, based on interviews with him and is a boy's journey across Africa in the 30s, drawing on the African "praise singer" tradition of delivering history.

Ned Beauman's darkly funny murder mystery Boxer, Beetle, gives readers an inventive story, told by a collector of Nazi memorabilia, set in contemporary times and in London's East End of the 30s.

Maile Chapman's Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto challenges convention with a tale about a group of elderly female patients in a 1920's Finnish hospital, and tells how the arrival of a new patient, a former ballroom-dance instructor with a bad temper, upsets the ward.

In Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, Kathryn Schulz asks us to see error as an essential part of human creativity.

Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper by Alexandra Harris, turns on its head the idea that artists and writers of the 30s and 40s loved old churches and tea shops.