Sebastian Barry and Maggie O’Farrell shortlisted for Costa book award

Brian Conaghan on children’s book shortlist. Winners to be announced in January

 

Irish authors Sebastian Barry and Maggie O’Farrell, both former winners, have been shortlisted for the 2016 Costa novel award, for their novels Days Without End and This Must Be the Place.

Also shortlisted are Rose Tremain, also a former winner, for The Gustav Sonata and Sarah Perry for The Essex Serpent.

Dublin-based author Brian Conaghan is on the Costa children’s book award shortlist for The Bombs That Brought Us Together, along with the author of the bestselling Horrid Henry series, Francesca Simon, Patrice Lawrence and debut children’s writer Ross Welford.

The judges described Barry’s Days Without End as a “beautiful, poetic book – heart-wrenching and hopeful in equal measure” and called O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place “an utterly involving read, both funny and heartbreaking – technically dazzling, but never losing its human touch”.

Barry, who is from Dublin and lives in Wicklow, won the award in 2008 for The Secret Scripture and O’Farrell, who is from Coleraine, Co Derry and lives in Edinburgh, won for The Hand That First Held Mine in 2010.

Review: Days Without End

Review: This Must Be the Place

Review: The Bombs That Brought Us Together

The judges said of Conaghan’s work: “Reflecting the disorder that conflict brings, Bombs shines a light in the darkest corners, finding humour in the most extraordinary circumstances.“

Conaghan was born and raised in Coatbridge, Scotland but now lives in Dublin. He was an English teacher for many years and has taught in Italy, Scotland and Ireland. He is the author of The Boy Who Made it Rain and When Mr Dog Bites, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal.

Winners in the five categories, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on January 3rd, 2017. The overall winner of the 2016 Costa Book of the year will receive £30,000 and will be announced at in London on January 31st. The 2015 Costa book of the year was The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

To be eligible for the awards, books must have been first published in the UK or Ireland between November 1st, 2015 and October 31st, 2016 and their authors resident in the UK or Ireland for the previous three years. Established in 1971 as the Whitbread Prize, Costa took over sponsorship in 2006.

Costa 2016 Shortlists

Novel

Sebastian Barry for Days Without End (Faber & Faber)

Maggie O’Farrell for This Must Be the Place (Tinder Press)

Sarah Perry for The Essex Serpent (Serpent‘s Tail)

Rose Tremain for The Gustav Sonata (Chatto & Windus)

First novel

Susan Beale for The Good Guy (John Murray)

Kit de Waal for My Name is Leon (Viking)

Guinevere Glasfurd for The Words in My Hand (Two Roads)

Francis Spufford for Golden Hill (Faber & Faber)

Biography

Keggie Carew for Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory (Chatto & Windus)

John Guy for Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years (Viking)

Hisham Matar for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Viking)

Sylvia Patterson for I’m Not with the Band: A Writer’s Life Lost in Music (Sphere)

Poetry

Melissa Lee-Houghton for Sunshine (Penned in the Margins)

Alice Oswald for Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape Poetry)

Denise Riley for Say Something Back (Picador)

Kate Tempest for Let Them Eat Chaos (Picador)

Children’s book

Brian Conaghan for The Bombs That Brought Us Together (Bloomsbury)

Patrice Lawrence for Orangeboy (Hodder Children‘s Books)

Francesca Simon for The Monstrous Child (Faber & Faber/Profile Books)

Ross Welford for Time Travelling with a Hamster (HarperCollins Children‘s Books)

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