Armando Ianucci, chairman of the judges descibes the book as:
... not just an extraordinary first novel but also an extraordinary novel ... It was a very ambitious undertaking ...The novel is set in Canada, but the author has never been there - she suffered from agoraphobia and found it incredibly difficult even to take a London Bus to the British Library, let alone jump on an aeroplane. Here she talks about how she managed to overcome the crippling condition and why she shuns publicity.
And you can read an extract from her novel here.