All-female line-up for Costa Novel Award category

Thursday, November 28th, 2013. Filed under: Books Entertainment
Kate Atkinson's "Life After Life" ©All rights reserved

Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life”
©All rights reserved

(Relaxnews) – “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson, “Unexpected Lessons in Love” by the late Bernadine Bishop, “Instructions for a Heatwave” by Maggie O’Farrell and “All the Birds, Singing” by Evie Wyld comprise the Costa Book Awards’ category for best novel.

Kate Atkinson won the Costa (or the Whitbread Award, as it was then) with her debut “Behind the Scenes at the Museum,” as did O’Farrell for “The Hand That Held Mine.”

Bernadine Bishop returned to writing after a career as a psychotherapist, while “All The Birds, Singing” is Evie Wyld’s sophomore effort — she was shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize and the Orange Award for New Writers following the publication of “After the Fire, A Still Small Voice.”

Four other categories exist: first novel, biography, poetry and children’s book.

Contesting the first novel award are a tale of an old friends’ reunion, “Idiopathy” by Sam Byers; “Meeting the English” from BBC Short Story Award winner Kate Clanchy, a Scot living in England; a look back at childhood trauma in “The Shock of the Fall” by mental health nurse Nathan Filer; and corner shop saga “Marriage Material” by Sathnam Sanghera.

The biography award shortlist explores topics as diverse as the behavior of Antarctic penguins and the links between alcohol and writing, while a new translation of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” by Australian TV host and cultural icon Clive James is among the shortlistees for the poetry award, alongside “Division Street” by Helen Mort, “Hill of Doors” by Robert Robertson, and “Drysalter” by Michael Symmons Roberts.

James is made eligible by his status as a resident of the United Kingdom — the £50,000 Costa Book Awards are open to authors based in the UK and Ireland.

The Children’s Award shortlist features “Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door” by Ross Montgomery, “The Hanged Man Rises” by Sarah Naughton, “Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse” by Chris Riddell, and “Rose Under Fire” by Elizabeth Wein.

Category winners will be announced on January 6 with the overall Book of the Year unveiled on January 28.


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