Costa Book Awards shortlist

The following books were yesterday shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Book Awards:


  • Penelope Lively – Family Album (Fig Tree)
  • Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate)
  • Christopher Nicholson – The Elephant Keeper (Fourth Estate)
  • Colm Tóibín – Brooklyn (Viking)

First Novel

  • Rachel Heath – The Finest Type of English Womanhood (Hutchinson)
  • Peter Murphy – John the Revelator (Faber)
  • Raphael Selbourne – Beauty (Tindal Street)
  • Ali Shaw – The Girl with Glass Feet (Atlantic)


  • Graham Farmelo – The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius (Faber)
  • William Fiennes – The Music Room (Picador)
  • Simon Gray – Coda (Granta and Faber)
  • Caroline Moorehead – Dancing to the Precipice (Chatto)


  • Clive James – Angels over Elsinore (Picador Poetry)
  • Katharine Kilalea – One Eye’d Leigh (Carcanet)
  • Ruth Padel – Darwin: A Life in Poems (Chatto)
  • Christopher Reid – A Scattering (Arete Books)

Children’s Book

  • Siobhan Dowd – Solace of the Road (David Fickling Books)
  • Mary Hoffman – Troubadour (Bloomsbury)
  • Patrick Ness – The Ask and the Answer Chaos Walking: Book Two (Walker Books)
  • Anna Perera – Guantánamo Boy (Puffin)

The 20 books above were chosen from 592 books overall. Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, which has already won the prestigious Man Booker Prize this year, is included for the Novel Award with relative unknown Christopher Nicholson’s The Elephant Keeper about “an 18th century boy’s love affair with an elephant”.

The children’s shortlist includes Anna Perera’s Guantánamo Boy about a boy who, amongst other children, was held at the US detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. Both this and Wolf Hall are held by Homerton College Library and, as in previous years, we may acquire others on the shortlist.

To be eligible for this year’s Costa Award books must have been first published in the UK or Ireland between November 2008 and October 2009. Short stories and collections of short stories are not eligible. The books are submitted by the publishers. The winner of each category will be announced onm Tuesday, 5 January 2010 and an overall ‘most enjoyable’ book announced Tuesday, 26 January 2010. Last year’s category winners were:

  • Novel: Sebastian Barry – The Secret Scripture (overall winner)
  • First novel: Sadie Jones – The Outcast
  • Biography: Diana Athill – Somewhere Towards the End
  • Poetry: Adam Foulds – The Broken Word
  • Children’s: Michelle Magorian – Just Henry

The Guardian: Little-known novelist vies with big names for Costa prize

The Times: Guantánamo ‘nightmare’ novel nominated for Costa prize


About homlib

The Library of Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
This entry was posted in Book awards. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s