Born in Oxford within a distinguished academic family, Raphael Selbourne studied politics at Sussex University, before moving to Italy where he was a translator, sold TV advertising and scooters. He has also taught in China and since 2004 in the West Midlands, where he now lives. He interrupted an MA in Islamic Studies at Birmingham University to write Beauty.
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2010. The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott. Click here to find out more. Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2009. Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "Captures the raw humanity of inner city life with extraordinary authenticity." A Bangladeshi girl has fled an abusive arranged marriage and then finds she needs to escape the restrictions of her family, back home in England, and start out on her own. Along the way she meets characters who both surprise and shock. A totally engrossing book - touching, funny and sad.