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Mantel in running for award hat-trick

NOVELIST Hilary Mantel could become the first person to win three major book prizes after Bring Up The Bodies was nominated for the Woman's Prize For Fiction.

The British author, 60, who recently made headlines when she described the Duchess of Cambridge as a "shop-window mannequin", has already scooped the Booker prize, for the second time, and the Costa Prize.

Now her sequel Bring Up The Bodies, part of a historical trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, is in the running for the Women's Prize (formerly the Orange Prize).

White Teeth author Zadie Smith is also one of the 20 authors to make it to the longlist, for London-set NW, the British writer's fourth novel.

If she wins, Smith, 37, will become the first person to do so twice, after winning the £30,000 award for On Beauty in 2006.

American Barbara Kingsolver could also take the same record with Flight Behaviour, her eighth novel, after The Lacuna won in 2010.

Kitty Aldridge, a former actress and wife of Dire Straits star Mark Knopfler, is also in the running with her third novel, A Trick I Learned From Dead Men.

The youngest author on the list is 25-year-old Israeli Shani Boianjiu with The People Of Forever Are Not Afraid, based on her national service in Israel.

Ros Barber's The Marlowe Papers is the first verse novel to make the list for the prize, awarded for fiction written in English by women.

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