Friday, 4 December 2009

Costa Book Awards shortlist

Brooklyn by Colm ToibinThe shortlist for the Costa Book Awards 2009 was announced on November 24th. The Costa Awards recognise the most enjoyable books in five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book - published in the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. The winner in each category receives £5,000. One of these five books is selected as the overall winner and receives a further £25,000. The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership - the year that both Costa and the Book Awards celebrated their 35th anniversary. In the Costa Novel category, Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn is up against Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. Wolf Hall – which tells the story of Thomas Cromwell's rise to prominence in the Tudor court – was the winner of the 2009 Booker Prize. Toibin’s Brooklyn was longlisted but failed to make the shortlist for that prize. The other shortlisted titles are Family Album by Penelope Lively and The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson. In the First Novel category Wexfordman Peter Murphy’s debut, John The Revelator, is shortlisted. The book tells the comic tale of a young boy growing up in a small Irish village whose life is altered by his friendship with a very free-spirited boy. The four books shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Award are young adult novels. Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd is about a girl who flees her foster home in search of her mother. War is a theme running through the other three titles on the shortlist. Troubadour by Mary Hoffman is a historical adventure story of love, war and romance set in 13th century France. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness is the second part of a sci-fi thriller following a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe. Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera is about a teenage boy caught up in a modern-day nightmare. For further information on the Costa shortlist see

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