Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Costa Winning!

The category winners for the Costa (formerly Whitbread) Book Awards have been announced. The headlines of course have been grabbed by former publisher Diana Athill's win for Somewhere Towards The End in the biography section - she's 91 years old! Judges called the book :
... a perfect memoir of old age – candid, detailed, charming, totally lacking in self-pity or sentimentality and above all, beautifully, beautifully written ...
Sebastian Barry won the best novel prize with The Secret Scripture, which many feel should have won this year's Booker. Michelle Magorian won the children's book award with Just Henry, of which the judges said :
Just Henry is a soaring, uplifting warm bath of a book – a wonderful roller-coaster of a story which we all absolutely loved.
Sadie Jones took the Best First Novel Award for The Outcast, while Adam Foulds, who won the poetry prize for The Broken Word, which is about the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya.
It is a rare achievement to write a poetry book that the reader simply can't put down. Readers of poetry and fiction alike will be swept along by its chilling narrative.
The overall winner will be announced on January 27.


'Book AwardTragic' said...

Hi Sharon,

been following your post for some time, very rich and informed, thanks. I empathise with your book obsession which I share - whilst not yet recognised as a clinical condition it deserves further research funds!

I was a little disappointed with the Costa category winners though it was nice to see Diana Athil's book recognised. Well-constructed memoirs of old age deserve an audience.

Generally, I hold the view that if a book has made the short list of other major awards then other leading prizes should expose us to new choices of literature. Few of us have the luxury enjoyed by literary judges in getting to read so many delicious books- personally I rely on them to cull the lists though my reading pile is well out of control

I publish a suite of web-sites that cover over 200 literary awards that may be of interest to you. It started as a hobby and then took over for much of last year- sad but true.


All the best for 2009

Kevin Parker (aka Book Award Tragic)
Publisher Book, Literary Awards UK.... CanLitawards and Literary Awards Australia

Currently reading: The Complete Short Sories - David Malouf
The Memory Room, Christopher Koch.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks so much for the links (which i will check out), Kevin, and it is really nice to meet another addict!

it's good to see different books getting exposure, i agree. but i suppose judges want to choose the best, even if books have been shortlisted elsewhere. i haven't read sebastian barry's book yet but it's very near the top of my tbr pile, and i'm glad he had this second shot.