Penguin author wins Guardian First Book Award

Penguin author Jonathan Safran Foer has scooped the prestigious Guardian First Book Award for his beautifully funny and touching novel, Everything Is Illuminated - a story about a young American Jew's journey to the Ukraine to find the woman who might, or might not, have saved his grandfather from the Nazis.

'Safran Foer's debut is an incredible achievement. At just 25 he produced a brilliantly original work that explores the very nature of 'the novel'. He is one of the most exciting writers of his generation and has the potential to go on to even greater things,'  said Claire Armitstead, the chairwoman of judges and the Guardian's Literary Editor.

Other titles on the shortlist included The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru, The Only Good Think Anyone Has Ever Done by Sandra Newman, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller and Mapping Mars by Oliver Morton. Previous winners include Zadie Smith with White Teeth.

This year's judging panel included novelists Irvine Welsh and Kate Atkinson, actor Kathy Burke, broadcaster Mark Lawson, and academic and author, Hermione Lee.

To read an extract or buy a copy of Everything is Illuminated, please visit http://www.penguin.co.uk/ . For more information about the Guardian First Book Award, please visit http://books.guardian.co.uk/ .