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Friday, January 9, 2009

Costa Book Award nominees announced

The shortlist for the Costa Books Award (formerly the Whibread) has been revealed.

Unusually, all five names are already winners, in individual categories. It is only the overall prize that is yet to be announced, a big event that will come about on 27 January.
Sebastian Barry -- who missed out on the Man Booker -- has seized the prize in the novel category for The Secret Scripture. Described by the judges as an "exquisitely written love story," The Secret Scripture is the bookmakers' favourite to win.
Diana Athill -- at the age of 91 the oldest category winner in the history of the awards -- won the biography category with her memoir Towards the End. The judges described this one as a "perfect memoir of old age ... beautifully, beautifully written."
Michelle Magorian took the children's book award with Just Henry, considered by the panel to be a "soaring, uplifting warm bath of a book."
Sadie Jones won the first novel award for her "assured" debut, The Outcast, and Adam Foulds took the poetry prize with The Broken Word, a "delicate and powerful" work that details a young man's experiences with the Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya.

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