'The perfect northern noir' - Book set on Yorkshire moors up for £10,000 prize

Ray Robinson with the front cover of his book The Mating Habit Of Stags, which has been shortlisted for The Portico Prize For Literature. Credit: The Portico Prize/PA Wire
Ray Robinson with the front cover of his book The Mating Habit Of Stags, which has been shortlisted for The Portico Prize For Literature. Credit: The Portico Prize/PA Wire
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Books which "defy the rumour that it's grim up North" are up for a £10,000 prize.

The Portico Prize For Literature awards fiction and non-fiction that "evoke the spirit of the North".

Judges for the prize, set up more than 30 years ago, include Strike actress Holliday Grainger.

Among those up for the award is Ray Robinson, for his novel The Mating Habit Of Stags, set on the moors of North Yorkshire. Judges have called it "the perfect northern noir".

This year's shortlist features three debut novels, including Saltwater by Jessica Andrews, a story of self-discovery by a girl from Sunderland who moves to London and takes her northern roots with her.

Ironopolis is "a haunting novel" by Glen James Brown, set on a fictional council estate in post-industrial Middlesbrough.

Black Teeth And A Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe is inspired by the life of Rita, Sue And Bob Too playwright Andrea Dunbar.

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In non-fiction, Benjamin Myers's Under The Rock: The Poetry Of A Place looks at nature, literature, history, memory and the meaning of place in modern Britain.

Graham Caveney's book The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness describes growing up obsessed by music in the North of England during the 1970s and his experience of sexual abuse.

Broadcaster Simon Savidge, chair of the judges, said: "This list defies the rumour that it's grim up North.

"Yes, it can be gritty up North; yes, it can be gothic up North; but more than anything it's glorious and great up North."

The winner will be announced on January 23.

The shortlist:

Saltwater by Jessica Andrews

Ironopolis by Glen James Brown

The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness by Graham Caveney

Under The Rock: The Poetry Of A Place by Benjamin Myers

The Mating Habit Of Stags by Ray Robinson

Black Teeth And A Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe