Costa Book of the Year Award


It could be said that the Costa Book of the Year Award holds a special place among British literary contests. The Man Booker Prize is the most prestigious

 while  the Orange Broadband Prize has been the most controversial partly because it excludes male authors. The  Bad Sex Award gets the greatest publicity especially when  the winners of the Man Booker Prize and the Award overlap.

The Costa Book Award is uniquely different from any other literary prize because the shortlist consists of 5 books from each of five categories: first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children’s book. No other literary award pits different genres against each other.

Among the finalists this year were Simon Sebag Montefiore’s readable biography

Young Stalin” and Joan Sprackland’s “Tilt”, a collection of poems about dislocated states of mind and chaotic landscapes.

Catherine O’Flynn’s  much-praised debut novel  “What Was Lost” was the runner up for the novel prize and  also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Set in a shopping mall – probably the first time that a mall has provided the background  for fiction – it tells the story of a child detective whose disappearance brings the first part  of the novel to a close.Twenty years later, two of the workers in the mall  try to find out what became of her.

The Scottish novelist and stand-up comedian A.L.Kennedy won the 2007 Costa Book of the Year for her fifth novel “Day”. The central character of the novel is Alfred Day, an ex-World War 2 tail gunner who found fulfilment during his time with the RAF which he when he was captured and became a prisoner-of-war. Some years after this he signs up as an extra in a POW film in Germany hoping in the process to come to terms with his past.

All the books discussed above are either in stock or on order and can be reserved from the Library Catalogue  Biographical information about A.L. Kennedy is available from the Library’s comprehensive Literature database LION

 Tazza_di_caffe_architett_01.jpg is free for commercial and personal use


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