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Costa Book Awards announces 2016 category winners

Editor: Wang Lingxiao 丨Xinhua

01-04-2017 08:41 BJT

LONDON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Costa on Tuesday announced the Costa Book Awards 2016 winners in the first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children's book categories.

The five winning authors who will now compete for the 2016 Costa Book of the Year are:

Francis Spufford, known for his prize-winning non-fiction, collects the Costa First Novel Award with his first work of fiction -- Golden Hill. It is a historical novel set in New York in the winter of 1746, which the judges called "captivating and dazzlingly original".

Irish novelist and playwright Sebastian Barry wins the Costa Novel Award for the second time for his seventh novel, Days Without End, which sets in the wars (Indian and Civil) of 1850s America.

Barry won the Costa Book of the Year in 2008 with his fourth novel, the bestselling The Secret Scripture.

Debut non-fiction writer, Keggie Carew, takes the Costa Biography Award for Dadland. Part-detective story, part-memoir, part-history, it tells of her race against time as her father, Tom Carew, slips into dementia to uncover the truth about his colourful life.

Multi-award-winning Devon-based poet Alice Oswald now adds the Costa Poetry Award to her repertoire for Falling Awake, a collection of poems which explore life's losing struggle with the gravity of nature which were written to be read aloud.

YA writer, Brian Conaghan -- who originally received 217 rejections before finding a publisher and an agent -- wins the Costa Children's Book Award with his third novel, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, the story of two friends, one shed, a war and a terrible choice.

"Five wonderful reads and something here for all readers' tastes -- just what the Costa Book Awards are all about," said Dominic Paul, Managing Director of Costa.

The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive 5,000 pounds (6,120 U.S. dollars), were selected from 596 entries, and are now eligible for the ultimate prize -- the 2016 Costa Book of the Year.

The winner, selected by a panel of judges chaired by Professor Kate Williams, and comprising authors and category judges, will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith at Quaglino's in central London on Jan. 31.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won eleven 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 2015 Costa Book of the Year was The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge.

The winner of the Costa Short Story Award -- voted for by the general public and now in its fifth year -- will also be announced at the awards ceremony.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland.

Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK's most prestigious book prize in 2006. 2016 marks the 45th year of the Book Awards.

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