2017 Costa Novel, Biography and Poetry shortlist awards

CBA logo 2013 copy

These are the titles nominated for the Novel shortlist.

Home Fire is the seventh novel by Kamila Shamsie, and is a contemporary re-working of Sophocles. The judges call it a “brave and important book that explores themes that feel both urgent and timeless”. Tin Man by Sarah Winman is about two boys and a girl caught up in a love triangle, described by the judges as “a tender and deeply moving exploration of love and grief written with deceptive simplicity”. Stef Penney’s third novel, Under a Pole Star, is set in the Arctic, where foul play and doomed love prevail. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor is described by the Guardian as a chilling meditation on loss and time, and the judges say “an extraordinary novel – poetic, haunting and hypnotic”.

The Biography shortlist comprises these four titles.

In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott is a deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult. Fragile Lives by Professor Stephen Westaby tells the stories of the lives he fought to save as a heart surgeon. Once Upon a Time in the East: a Story of Growing Up by Xialou Guo details her tale of moving from East to West, and is described by the judges as “an eye-opening and compelling account of one woman’s search for art, love and freedom”. A Bold and Dangerous Family: the Rossellis and the Fight Against Mussolini by Caroline Moorehead examines a remarkable family and their ultimate sacrfice.

These are the books on the Poetry shortlist.

Useful Verses is Richard Osmond’s debut collection of poems about the intersection of the natural and human worlds. On Balance by Sinead Morrissey revisits some of the great feats of human engineering to reveal the states of balance and imbalance that have shaped our history. Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore focuses on the borderline between the living and the dead. The judges said “we were all stunned by these breathtaking poems”. Finally, Kayo Chingonyi’s debut Kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man. His poems explore this passage: between the two worlds, contemporary and ancestral, and between the living and the dead.

All these titles are available to borrow from Wokingham Borough Libraries. To reserve a copy visit the online catalogue http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries

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