Sally Rooney and Donal Ryan shortlisted for Costa Novel Award
70-year-old shortlisted for First Novel Award. Judges include RTÉ’s Rick O’Shea
Sally Rooney, author of Normal People. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Normal People by Sally Rooney and From A Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan have been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award, the most prestigious award for a novel open only to British and Irish authors.
Rooney and Ryan were also longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, which was won by Belfast author Anna Burns for Milkman. All three have also been shortlisted for Novel of the Year at next Tuesday’s An Post Irish Book Awards. Earlier this week, Rooney was named International Author of the Year at Britain’s Specsavers National Book Awards.
The judges – Justine Jordan, fiction editor of the Guardian; author Rachel Joyce; and Zool Verjee of Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford – called Ryan’s novel “compassionate, profound and masterfully written” and Rooney’s “bold, fresh and intensely modern”. Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls – “blistering, important, topical – an addictive read” – and Tom Rachman for The Italian Teacher – “a hugely pleasurable story, fizzing with energy” – complete the shortlist.
The First Novel Award category includes books by 70-year-old debut author Anne Youngson, Elisa Lodato, Natalie Hart and Stuart Turton.
Three-quarters of the Poetry Award shortlist are debuts: Zaffar Kunial, former opera singer Richard Scott and Hannah Sullivan, together with award-winning Scottish poet JO Morgan, nominated for his book-length war-poem.
Memoirs by songwriter and musician Viv Albertine, Oxford University professor Bart van Es and Raynor Winn – who walked the 630-mile South West Coast Path to escape the prospect of homelessness – feature in the Biography Award shortlist, as well as the autobiography of performance poet, playwright, political activist and musician, Benjamin Zephaniah.
Children’s Book Award shortlist includes authors Hilary McKay and David Almond, both previous winners of this award, Filipino author Candy Gourlay and debut YA writer, Matt Killeen. RTÉ broadcaster Rick O'Shea is one of the judges.
Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on January 7th, 2019. The overall winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year, who will receive £30,000, will be announced on January 29th. The 2017 Costa Book of the Year was Inside the Wave, the final collection of poetry by Helen Dunmore, published shortly before her death.
Rooney was born in 1991 and lives in Dublin. She is the youngest-ever winner of the Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. Her first novel Conversations with Friends was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is the editor of The Stinging Fly.
Ryan is from Nenagh, Co Tipperary. His first three novels, The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December and All We Shall Know, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was recently voted Irish Book of the Decade. A former civil servant, Ryan lectures in creative writing at the University of Limerick.
COSTA BOOK AWARDS 2018 SHORTLISTS
2018 Costa Novel Award shortlist
Pat Barker for The Silence of the Girls (Hamish Hamilton)
Tom Rachman for The Italian Teacher (riverrun)
Sally Rooney for Normal People (Faber & Faber)
Donal Ryan for From a Low and Quiet Sea (Doubleday)
2018 Costa First Novel Award shortlist
Natalie Hart for Pieces of Me (Legend Press)
Elisa Lodato for An Unremarkable Body (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Stuart Turton for The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Raven Books)
Anne Youngson for Meet Me at the Museum (Doubleday)
2018 Costa Biography Award shortlist
Viv Albertine for To Throw Away Unopened (Faber & Faber)
Bart van Es for The Cut Out Girl (Fig Tree)
Raynor Winn for The Salt Path (Michael Joseph)
Benjamin Zephaniah for The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah: The Autobiography (Scribner)
2018 Costa Poetry Award shortlist
Zaffar Kunial for Us (Faber & Faber)
J.O. Morgan for Assurances (Jonathan Cape)
Richard Scott for Soho (Faber & Faber)
Hannah Sullivan for Three Poems (Faber & Faber)
2018 Costa Children’s Book Award shortlist
David Almond for The Colour of the Sun (Hodder Children’s Books)
Candy Gourlay for Bone Talk (David Fickling Books)
Matt Killeen for Orphan Monster Spy (Usborne)
Hilary McKay for The Skylarks’ War (Macmillan Children’s Books)