Maria Allen is half Italian, half English and has lived in different parts of Italy and the USA. She has worked as a journalist, in TV research, publishing and most recently in teaching. She lives in Loughborough.
Shortlisted 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. March 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. Fabulous historical page-turner Before The Earthquake, from debut novelist Maria Allen, sees 15-year-old Concetta piecing together her past after an earthquake devastates her rural Italian village and leaves her with no memory.