LONDON Literary heavyweights Andrea Levy and Hilary Mantel are up against seven first-time novelists in the longlist for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction honoring women writers in the English language.
Briton Levy, who won the award in 2004 for "Small Island" about Jamaican immigrants in Britain, is nominated for "The Long Song," and compatriot Mantel, the Booker Prize winner last year, is longlisted for her acclaimed historical novel "Wolf Hall."
Among the first-time novelists on the 20-strong longlist for the coveted prize are New Zealand's Eleanor Catton ("The Rehearsal"), and Morocco's Laila Lalami ("Secret Son").
Daisy Goodwin, TV producer, author and chair of the 2010 judging panel, said "in the end we have chosen a muscular, original and pleasurable longlist that will appeal to all kinds of readers."
The annual prize goes to a woman writing in English, whatever her nationality. The winner receives a check for 30,000 pounds ($45,000) and will be announced on June 9. The shortlist is revealed on April 20.
Following is a list of the longlisted authors, the title of their nominated books and nationalities:
Rosie Alison/The Very Thought of You/Britain
Eleanor Catton/The Rehearsal/New Zealand
Clare Clark/Savage Lands/Britain
Amanda Craig/Hearts and Minds/Britain
Roopa Farooki/The Way Things Look to Me/Britain
Rebecca Gowers/The Twisted Heart/Britain
M.J. Hyland/This is How/Britain
Sadie Jones/Small Wars/Britain
Barbara Kingsolver/The Lacuna/United States
Laila Lalami/Secret Son/Morocco
Andrea Levy/The Long Song/Britain
Attica Locke/Black Water Rising/United States
Hilary Mantel/Wolf Hall/Britain
Maria McCann/The Wilding/Britain
Nadifa Mohamed/Black Mamba Boy/Britain
Lorrie Moore/A Gate at the Stairs/United States
Monique Roffey/The White Woman on the Green Bicycle/Spain-Britain
Amy Sackville/The Still Point/Britain
Kathryn Stockett/The Help/United States
Sarah Waters/The Little Stranger/Britain
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)