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Two Canadian novels among Commonwealth Book Prize finalists

On a shortlist dominated by Australian and Indian writers, two Canadians have been named finalists for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for best first novel.

Naomi Benaron’s Running the Rift (HarperCollins Canada) and Vincent Lam’s The Headmaster’s Wager (Doubleday Canada) are in the running against 19 other titles for the £10,000 prize.

The Commonwealth Book Prize accepts submissions from the 54 commonwealth countries. This year, for the first time, self-published and translated works were eligible.

Regional winners, to be announced May 14, will each receive £2,500. The overall winner will be revealed May 31 at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts in Wales. A full list of the nominees is available at the Commonwealth Book Prize website.