News & Reviews
A.L. Kennedy wins 2007 Costa Book of the Year
Scottish author and stand-up comedian A.L.
has won the 2007 Costa Book of the Year award for her fifth novel,
"Day," the story of a former RAF prisoner-of-war returning to Germany
to confront his demons. The announcement was made Tuesday
night at an awards ceremony held at The Intercontinental Hotel in
The Costa Book
Awards recognize the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers
based in the UK and Ireland. Originally established by Whitbread PLC in
1971, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK’s
popular and prestigious book prize in 2006.
Despite a morbid fear of flying, Kennedy interrupted her American tour
to fly back to the UK for 24 hours to attend the awards ceremony. The
Glasgow-based author spent three years researching the book, which
tells of British PoW and Lancaster tailgunner Alfred Day, trying to cope with
civilian life in 1949.
Following the judging, Joanna Trollope,
chair of the final judges, said: "Day is an example of excellence in
its category and a book ultimately to recommend. It is perfectly and
beautifully written by an author who is an extraordinary stylist."
In one of the most open contests since the Book of the Year award was
introduced in 1985, A.L. Kennedy beat best-selling biographer, Simon Sebag Montefiore for "Young
Stalin," first-time novelist Catherine
O’Flynn for "What Was Lost," poet Jean Sprackland for "Tilt" and
children’s writer Ann Kelley
for "The Bower Bird" for the overall prize.
Costa’s Managing Director, John
Derkach, presented Kennedy with a check for £25,000 at the
glittering awards ceremony.
Day, published by Jonathan Cape, is the eighth novel to take the
overall prize. Andrea Levy was
the last author to win the Book of the Year with a novel taking the
prize in 2004 for Small Island.
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has
been won seven times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five
times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by
a children’s book.
Back to News & Reviews Home