Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 Costa Book Award Winners

Category winners of the 2010 Costa Book Awards,  which recognizes some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland, have just  been announced. (Because this is a UK literary prize, not all of the books are currently available in this country.) Here are this year's winners:

Novel: The Hand that First Held Mine, by novelist and former journalist Maggie O'Farrell, who wins her first major literary prize with her fifth novel. (This book will be available in paperback in two weeks.)

First Novel: Witness the Night, by Kishwar Desai who explores India's hidden female infanticide in the first book of a series featuring the unconventional female protagonist, Simran Singh.

Biography: The Hare with Amber Eyes, a memoir by potter and ceramic artist Edmund de Waal. (This book is currently only in hardcover; we are out of stock at the moment but have it on order.)

Poetry: Of Mutability, by Jo Shapcott -- her first new work in more than a decade, influenced in part by her experience with cancer.

Children's Book: Out of Shadows, by debut writer and web designer, Jason Wallace. (This book will be published in hardover in the US in March.)

The Costa Book of the Year is selected from the five Category Award Winners. The overall winner receives a further £30,000. The winner of the 2010 Costa Book of the Year will be announced in January 2011. Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, six times by a collection of poetry, and once by a children's book.  The 2009 Costa Book of the Year was A Scattering by Christopher Reid.

The Costa Book Awards began in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. Costa Coffee began sponsorship of the awards in 2006. Some of the previous winners include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, Beowulf by Seamus Heaney, Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill, Small Island by Andrea Levy, The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penny, Day by A.L. Kennedy, Restless by William Boyd, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, and The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry.

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