Novel on schizophrenic wins Costa Book Award

Nathan Filer beat novelist and bookmakers’ favourite Kate Atkinson

British writer Nathan Filer holds his award after winning the the 2013 Costa Book Awards for his book “The Shock of the Fall” at Quaglino’s in London yesterday. Photograph: Tal Cohen/EPA

British writer Nathan Filer holds his award after winning the the 2013 Costa Book Awards for his book “The Shock of the Fall” at Quaglino’s in London yesterday. Photograph: Tal Cohen/EPA

 

Debut author and mental health nurse Nathan Filer’s novel The Shock of the Fall, about a schizophrenic young man dealing with guilt, was named as the winner of the Costa Book Award for 2013 last night.

Filer beat novelist and bookmakers’ favourite Kate Atkinson, for Life After Life, biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallett for The Pike, poet Michael Symmons Roberts for Drysalter and author and political cartoonist, Chris Riddell, for Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, to win the honour and prize money of £30,000 at the awards ceremony in London.

“This book stood out in a very good list,” Rose Tremain, chair of the judges panel, said. “The voice in which the author has chosen to tell his story is perfectly aligned with the subject matter and very well sustained to the end.”

The Costa Book Awards, named after a coffee shop chain, is the only major British book prize open solely to authors resident in the United Kingdom and Ireland and recognises books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year.

Filer (32) is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is a qualified mental health nurse and for many years worked for the mental health service in Bristol where he still lives. – (Reuters)