'Skippy Dies,' debut poetry collection make Costa shortlists
Wednesday 17 November 2010
The Costa Book Awards are given annually to authors based in the UK and Ireland for what the jury deems the "most enjoyable books of the year." This year's shortlists, announced November 16, include novels by Paul Murray, Louise Doughty, Nigel Farndale, and Maggie O'Farrell, memoirs by Michael Frayn and Edmund de Waal, and poetry by Sam Willetts.
Titles being considered for the Novel Award include Paul Murray's Skippy Dies, which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, as well as Louise Doughty's Whatever You Love, Nigel Farndale's The Blasphemer, and Maggie O'Farrell's The Hand That First Held Mine.
Shortlists were also chosen in the categories of First Novel, Children's Book, Poetry, and Biography. Other notable nominees are 48-year-old poet and reformed heroin addict Sam Willetts with his debut collection, New Light for the Old Dark, and just three contenders for the Biography Award: two memoirs (Michael Frayn's My Father's Fortune and Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes) and Sarah Bakewell's study of Michel de Montaigne.
Costa 2010 shortlists:
First Novel Award
Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai
Coconut Unlimited by Nikesh Shukla
The Temple-Goers by Aatish Taseer
Not Quite White by Simon Thirsk
Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty
The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
How to Live: A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell
My Father's Fortune by Michael Frayn
The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
Standard Midland by Roy Fisher
The Wrecking Light by Robin Robertson
Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott
New Light for the Old Dark by Sam Willetts
Children's Book Award
Flyaway by Lucy Christopher
Annexed by Sharon Dogar
Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
Launched in 1971 as the Whitbread Awards, the Costa Awards are 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. One winner is then selected as the Costa Book of the Year and given a further £25,000.
The 2009 Book of the Year went to poet Christopher Reid for A Scattering.
Winners in the five categories will be announced on January 5, 2011, while the overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2010 will be selected and announced on January 25 in London.
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