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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Debut novelist Amy Sackville won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize on Tuesday for "The Still Point," about a doomed attempt to reach the North Pole at the turn of the 20th century and the repercussions it has on those left behind.
The award, which honors writers aged 35 and under from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, comes with a check for 5,000 pounds ($8,000). The other five shortlisted authors receive 500 pounds each.
Previous winners include V. S. Naipaul, Andrew Motion and William Boyd.
"It's astonishing that such a poised and deep work should be a first novel, but there it is," said commentator and writer Bidisha (one name).
"In the decades to come, when she has won dozens of other awards internationally, we want people to say, 'You know the John Llewellyn Rhys people spotted her first.'"
The other nominees for the prize were "A Light Song of Light" by Kei Miller, "Black Mamba Boy" by Nadifa Mohamed, "Bomber County" by Daniel Swift, "Corrag" by Susan Fletcher and "Delusions of Gender" by Cordelia Fine.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Patricia Reaney