Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Costa Book Awards - Fiction and Biography winners

The winners of the U.K.'s prestigious 201o Costa Book Awards have been announced. The Costa Book Awards were originally known as The Whitbread Literary Awards and have been around since 1971.

"The Costa Book Awards is one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland."

Maggie O'Farrell is this year's recipient of Novelist of the Year for her fifth novel, The Hand That First Held Mine.

" When the bohemian, sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life for herself, with Innes at her side. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina, a painter, struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood, memories that don't tally with his parents' version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, so an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected." - Publisher

"A book of grand themes and intimate moments. This gripping novel is the one we'd unreservedly recommend." - Judging Committee

"A powerful story full of dynamic characters, crafted with panache and lyricism." - Judging Committee

Edmund De Waal won the Biography of the Year award for his memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes: a hidden inheritance.

"264 wood and ivory netsuke, none of them larger than a matchbox: in a stunningly original memoir Edmund de Waal describes the journey taken by this exquisite collection - and the family who treasured it - across continents, and centuries, in a gripping tale of war and peace, passion and loss. Apprentice potter Edmund de Waal was entranced by the collection when he first encountered it in the Tokyo apartment of his Great Uncle Iggie. And later, when Edmund inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined." - Publisher

"A truly special book. De Waal is a first-class potter and has proven himself with this book to be a first-class writer - he's able to handle a very serious subject with a delicacy, charm and touch that is rare." - Judging Committee

"A book that is both highly original and tremendously moving. De Waal's subject matter is fascinating in itself, but what makes the book work so well is the delicacy with which he approaches his task and the emotion he invests within it."- Judging Committee

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