Costa Book Awards shortlists revealed: Booker Prize-winner in the running

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The Independent Culture

Costa Awards are given annually to authors based in the United Kingdom and Ireland for what the jury deems the "most enjoyable books of the year." On November 24, shortlists for the 2009 awards were announced. Novel award finalists include Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel, Penelope Lively, Colm Tóibín, and the lesser-known author Chistopher Nicholson.



Titles being considered for the novel award include Hilary Mantel's novel about Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall, which won the Booker Prize, as well as Penelope Lively's Family Album, Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn, and Christopher Nicholson's The Elephant Keeper, which judges called "an unusual and absorbing story - a real discovery."

Shortlists were also chosen in the categories of First Novel, Children's Book, Poetry, and Biography.

2009 shortlists:

First Novel
The Finest Type of English Womanhood by Rachel Heath
John the Revelator by Peter Murphy
Beauty by Raphael Selbourne
The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Family Album by Penelope Lively
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius by Graham Farmelo
The Music Room by William Fiennes
Coda by Simon Gray
Dancing to the Precipice by Caroline Moorehead

Angels Over Elsinore by Clive James
One Eye'd Leigh by Katharine Kilalea
Darwin: A Life in Poems by Ruth Padel
A Scattering by Christopher Reid

Children's Book
Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
Troubadour by Mary Hoffman
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera

Launched in 1971, the Costa Awards are decidedly more populist in focus than the Booker Prize, honoring literary merit but also enjoyment in reading for the widest possible audience. Each category winner receives £5,000 (€5,500). One winner is then selected as the Costa Book of the Year and given a further £25,000 (€27,700). The 2008 Book of the Year went to Irish author Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture.

2009 category winners will be revealed January 5, 2010, and the Book of the Year will be awarded on January 26 in London.