2nd January 2018
The winners of the Costa First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book categories have been announced as follows:
* First Novel Award - Gail Honeyman for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - the story of a survivor of a childhood trauma that depicts the loneliness of life and the simple power of kindness, which is to be adapted for the big screen by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine. You can read our exclusive interview with Gail here.
* Novel Award - Jon McGregor for Reservoir 13, the story of many lives haunted by one family's loss, which the judges called ‘hypnotic, compelling and original’.
* Costa Biography Award - Rebecca Stott for In The Days of Rain, a family memoir about life – her late father’s and then her own – inside the Exclusive Brethren, a Christian fundamentalist separatist cult.
* Poetry Award - Helen Dunmore (posthumously) for Inside the Wave, her tenth and final collection which explores the borderline between the living and the dead and includes her final poem, ‘Hold out your arms’, written shortly before her death in June 2017.
* Children’s Book Award - Katherine Rundell for The Explorer, an adventure story of four children fighting for survival in the Amazon rainforest, inspired by an expedition Rundell made to the Amazon and Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea (itself shortlisted for this Award in 2001).
The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and which, uniquely, recognises the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - published in the last year.
Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK's most prestigious book prize in 2006. 2017 marks the 46th year of the Book Awards.
The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 620 entries and are now eligible for the ultimate prize - the 2017 Costa Book of the Year.
The winner, to be selected by a panel of judges chaired by novelist Wendy Holden and comprising authors and category judges Moniza Alvi, Simon Garfield, Freya North, Sophie Raworth and Piers Torday, joined by Contributing Editor, British Vogue, Laura Bailey, author and presenter, Fern Britton and actor Art Malik, will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith at Quaglino’s in central London on Tuesday 30th January 2018.
'What a fabulous collection of books, all of them terrific reads,' commented Dominic Paul, Managing Director of Costa. “The Costa Book Awards has an extraordinary track record for showcasing and celebrating some of the best and most enjoyable books by authors based in the UK and Ireland, and I'm delighted to say that this year is no exception. Our thanks to the judges, and huge congratulations to this year’s five Costa Award winners.”
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won twelve times by a novel, five times by a first novel, six times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and twice by a children’s book. The 2016 Costa Book of the Year was Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, the first novelist ever to win the overall Book of the Year twice.
The winner of the Costa Short Story Award – voted for by the general public and now in its sixth year - will also be announced at the awards ceremony. Voting is open until Friday 12th January until which time the identity of the three shortlisted authors remains anonymous.
For additional information go to www.costa.co.uk/costa-book-awards.