Young takes on old in Costa Book Award shortlist

Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:34pm EST
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By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Youth takes on experience in the shortlist for this year's Costa Book Awards, announced on Tuesday, with a debut writer pitted against a veteran author in her 90s in the best biography category.

A record number of entries were submitted for this year's awards, which are divided into five categories -- novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children's book. The winner of each, announced in January, receives 5,000 pounds ($7,500).

In the biography category, journalist Sathnam Sanghera's first book "If You Don't Know Me By Now: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton" is up against "Somewhere Toward the End" by Diana Athill, who, born in 1917, already has five volumes of memoirs and one novel under her belt.

The shortlist also includes books by Louis de Bernieres, author of bestseller "Captain Corelli's Mandolin," and Sebastian Barry, who has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

To be eligible for the awards, formerly the Whitbread Book Awards, books must have been first published in the United Kingdom or Ireland between November 1 last year and October 31, 2008.

The overall winner, crowned Costa Book of the Year, will be selected from the five category award winners, receiving a further 25,000 pounds in prize money.

The shortlisted books are:

Costa Novel Award   Continued...