Novelist Maggie O’Farrell, potter Edmund de Waal and debut writer Jason Wallace are among the winners of the 2010 Costa Book Awards. First-time novelist Kishwar Desai and poet Jo Shapcott complete the category winners at this year's prize.
The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 540 entries. The five books are now eligible for the ultimate prize - the 2010 Costa Book of the Year.
O’Farrell wins her first major literary prize with her fifth novel, The Hand That First Held Mine (Headline). Kishwar Desai took the First Novel Award for Witness the Night (Beautiful Books), which explores India’s hidden female infanticide and the first book of a series featuring the unconventional female protagonist, Simran Singh. De Waal, wh also won a Galaxy National Book Award last year, collected the Biography Award for his memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes (Chatto).
Jo Shapcott won the Poetry Award for Of Mutability (Faber), her first new work in over a decade in part influenced by her experience of breast cancer. Meanwhile, debut writer and web designer, Jason Wallace, claimed the Children’s Book Award for Out of Shadow (Andersen Press), about growing up in a boarding school in Zimbabwe.
The winner, selected by a panel of judges chaired by broadcaster Andrew Neil and including David Morrissey, Elizabeth McGovern, Natasha Kaplinsky, Anneka Rice and Adele Parks, will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith at Quaglino’s in central London on Tuesday 25th January 2011.
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, six times by a collection of poetry and once by a children’s book. The 2009 Costa Book of the Year was A Scattering by Christopher Reid.