Tag: Costa Book Awards

Awards news

Here’s a round-up of some literary award winners, shortlists and other bits and pieces…

Costa Book Awards

The category winners were announced this week:

  • Novel: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
  • First Novel: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (HarperCollins)
  • Biography: The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Fourth Estate)
  • Poetry: Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts (Jonathan Cape)
  • Children’s Book: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell (Macmillan)

The overall winner will be announced on Tuesday 28 January. There’s also a Short Story Award, which is voted for by the public. You can read (or listen) to the shortlisted stories and vote here.

Transmission Prize

A prize for the communication of ideas, organised by Salon London. (The descriptions of the nominees here are taken from the prize’s website.)

  • Olivia Laing for her exploration of what drives writers to drink, in her psycho-geographic journey across the USA.
  • Professor David Nutt for giving us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the absolute truth about drugs.
  • John McHugo who, based on decades of experience, has created an understandable, and concise history of the Arab world.
  • Biologist Aarathi Prasad showed us how biology is redefining the rules of sex, and predicted the end of men.
  • Lloyd Bradley for piecing together 100 years of black music in the capital and giving us his sounds of London.
  • Perfumer and writer Sarah McCartney showed us how we can move both in time and our own experience through smell.
  • Barbara Sahakian who explored the ethical and moral questions surrounding neuro-cognitive enhancers, aka smart drugs.
  • Epigeneticist Tim Spector who showed us how we can change our genes, both those we inherit and those we pass on.

The winner will be announced on Thursday 6 February.

BSFA Awards

BSFA members can nominate works for this years awards until next Tuesday, 14 January.

Fiction Uncovered

Not strictly an award, but does a valuable job all the same of recognising writers who may otherwise be overlooked. It was announced today that Fiction Uncovered has received funding for another two years, with 2014’s list of titles to be announced in June. I look forward to seeing what’s on there!

Costa Book Awards 2012

The category winners of the Costa Book Awards have been announced:

Novel: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

First Novel: The Innocents by Francesca Segal

Biography: Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes by Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot

Poetry: The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie

Children’s Book: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

There are a couple of notable firsts for the Costas here: a graphic novel (Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes) taking one of the prizes, and an all-female roster of winning writers (Bryan Talbot being the illustrator of the biography).

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes actually looks like the winner I’m most interested in investigating – graphic novels are a gap in my reading diet, and this could be a good title with which to start changing that.



Costa Book Awards

It’s a strange feeling when a book that’s unfamiliar wins an award over one that’s beloved, because, on the one hand, for all I know, the winner was the most deserving book on the shortlist; but, on the other, it’s always nice when a book I like wins.

On that note, here are the category winners of the Costa Book Awards 2010, as announced earlier this evening:

Novel: Maggie O’Farrell, The Hand That First Held Mine

I read O’Farrell’s previous novel, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, a couple of years ago, and liked it very much. I have no reason to believe that her latest work isn’t brilliant, and I’d certainly like to read it at some point; but it was up against Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies, one of my absolute favourite reads of 2010. The Hand That First Held Mine would have to be exceptional to beat Murray’s book in my eyes; perhaps this win is an indication that I should investigate.

First Novel: Kishwar Desai, Witness the Night

Another of my favourite books from last year, Nikesh Shukla’s Coconut Unlimited, was on this shortlist; again, the category winner would have to go some way to beat it. Desai’s novel does sound interesting, though: a book that uses the form of a classic subgenre (the country-house detection) to examine contemporary issues.

Biography: Edmund de Waal, The Hare With Amber Eyes

I haven’t read this, but I’ve certainly heard about it, as it seemed one of the most talked-about books of last year. De Waal traces the story of his great-uncle’s collection of ivory carvings, but (so I hear) ranges rather more widely than that might sound.

Poetry: Jo Shapcott, Of Mutability

I’m not well-versed (pardon the pun) in poetry, so I can’t really comment on this.

Children’s Book: Jason Wallace, Out of Shadows

Again, I don’t have much to say as this isn’t my usual area of interest. But it certainly seems that there’s a strong set of candidates here to compete for the overall Costa Book of the Year award, the winner of which will be announced on the 25th of this month.

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