Kiran Desai, who was awarded the Booker prize last year, has been included in the shortlist for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.

Desai's The Inheritance of Loss is the author's second novel and leads a shortlist which includes five other authors.

The Orange Broadband prize is the only book award for fiction written by women and is now in its 12th year. It aims to celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in international women's writing.

Other nominees include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who has been previously short listed, for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun.

In addition, Jane Harris's The Observations and Anne Tyler's Digging to America will be up for the award, which includes a cheque for £30,000 and a bronze statue known as 'the Bessie'.

Completing the shortlist is Xiaolu Guo for a Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers and Rachael Cusk for her novel Arlington Park.

Muriel Gray, chair of judges for the prize, said that the 2007 list was "incredibly exciting".

"It represents six beautifully crafted pieces of work that are as accessible as they are fascinating," she said.

"That this outstanding writing should come from such diverse sources that includes five different nationalities, a world famous author, as well as a first-time novelist, is doubly thrilling."

The awards ceremony will take place in the ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall in the South Bank centre in London on June 6th.

Last year's prize went to Zadie Smith for her novel On Beauty.

17/04/2007 12:26:33