A NOVEL about an "honour killing" in Britain's Muslim community has won the international Kiriyama Prize for a Huddersfield author.

Maps For Lost Lovers, by Nadeem Aslam, was named as winner at a ceremony in San Francisco.

The award is open to writers from all over the world whose work contributes to a greater understanding of the people of South Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Mr Aslam's book is set among the Pakistani community of an unnamed English town.

But it echoes the tragic Huddersfield deaths of lovers Hashmat Ali and Sharifan Bibi, who disappeared in Huddersfield in 1988.

Their bodies were never found, but Sharifan's two brothers were convicted of their murders.

It is believed the pair were butchered in the cellar of a house in Thornton Lodge.

The novel opens with the disappearance of two lovers, Chanda and Jugnu.

It soon becomes clear they have been murdered by Chanda's two brothers, who believe she has brought shame on the family by living in sin.

The book was 11½ years in the writing. Mr Aslam began it at the age of 26 and finished it in 2003, aged 37.

At one point he worked so hard on the novel that he did not leave his house in Lockwood for nearly three months.

He cut himself off from the phone, TV, radio and newspapers. He only learned of the September 11 attacks on September 20.

Mr Aslam was born in Pakistan and moved to Britain aged 14, when his father fled President Zia's regime. The family settled in Huddersfield, but Mr Aslam now lives in north London.

Maps For Lost Lovers was longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize.

Mr Aslam shares the $30,000 (£16,000) prize with a non-fiction writer, New York-based journalist Suketu Mehta, who won for his book Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.