Tóibín shortlisted for UK book award


Irish author Colm Tóibín is one of two Irish novelists to be featured on this year’s short list for one of the UK’s most prestigious novel awards.

Tóibín ’s sixth novel, Brooklyn,is featured on the 2009 shortlist for the Costa Novel Award, formerly the Whitbread Awards.

The author, who missed out on this year’s shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, will compete against the eventual winner of that award, Hilary Mantel whose novel Wolf Hall is shortlisted in the same category alongside Penelope Lively for Family Albumand Christopher Nicholson for The Elephant Keeper.
A second Irish nominee, Hot Presswriter Peter Murphy, has been nominated in the Costa First Novel Award shortlist for his book John the Revelator, which the judges described as a “dark and gripping story” which powerfully merges fact and fiction.

For the first time in the history of the awards the shortlists feature two posthumous nominations one of whom, Siobhan Dowd appears in the children’s book category for Solace of the Road. Dowd, who was born in London to Irish parents, spent much of her youth visiting the family homes in County Waterford and later in Wicklow. She died of cancer in 2007.

Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread, coffee shop chain Costa took over the sponsorship of one of the UK’s most prestigious book prize in 2006. The awards recognise the most enjoyable books in five categories – novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children’s book.

The winner in each category receives £5,000 each while the overall winner receives a further £25,000. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony hosted in central London on January 26th, 2010.
The 2008 Costa Book of the Year was won by Irish author Sebastian Barry for The Secret Scripture, which has gone on to sell over 300,000 copies.