Costabookawards

Two Penguin Random House titles have been successful at the 2016 Costa Book Awards, with Keggie Carew winning the Costa Biography Award for Dadland: A Journey Into Uncharted Territory and Alice Oswald winning the Costa Poetry Award for Falling Awake.

The results, announced last night on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme, now mean that both titles will go on to compete for the overall Costa Book of the Year Award.

Dadland sees Keggie Carew revisit the life of her father, Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Carew, built initially from his recollections of his life and pieced together through the extensive archives found in his attic and newly-released official records. Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a member of an elite SOE unit he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance in France, then Burma, in the Second World War. But his wartime exploits are only the start of it, as Keggie celebrates the technicolour life of an impossible, irresistible, unstoppable man.

Falling Awake sees Alice Oswald take the Costa Poetry Award with her seventh collection, following on from her nominations for both the 2016 Forward Prize and the 2016 T.S. Eliot award. Working as before with an ear to the oral tradition, the poems within this collection attend to the organic shapes and sounds and momentum of the language as it’s spoken as well as how it’s thought: fresh, fluid and propulsive, but also fragmentary, repetitive. These are poems that are written to be read aloud.

Four other Penguin Random House titles were nominated for the awards, with Rose Tremain nominated for the Novel Award for The Gustav Sonata; Kit De Waal being nominated for My Name Is Leon in the First Novel category; and Hisham Matar (The Return) and John Guy (Elizabeth: The Forgetten Years) getting nods in the Biography category.

The overall Costa Book of the Year Award will be announced on the 31 January at a ceremony in London.

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  • Dadland

  • The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, winner of the Costa Biography Award

    Keggie Carew grew up under the spell of an unorthodox, enigmatic father. An undercover guerrilla agent during the Second World War, in peacetime he lived on his wits and dazzling charm. But these were not always enough to sustain a family.

    As his memory began to fail, Keggie embarked on a quest to unravel his story once and for all. Dadland is that journey. It takes us into shadowy corners of history, a madcap English childhood, the poignant breakdown of a family, the corridors of dementia and beyond.


    ‘OH THIS BOOK. Beautiful and fierce and brave. Memory and war and family and loss and, well, wow’ Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

    'A thrilling history of Churchill's Special Operations Executive... combined ingeniously with a tender, moving, funny portrait of the author’s father' Nick Hornby, Observer

  • Buy the book
  • Falling Awake

  • Winner of the 2017 Griffin Prize
    Winner of the 2016 Costa Poetry Award
    Shortlisted for the 2016 T. S. Eliot Award
    Shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize

    A Daily Telegraph / Guardian / Herald / New Statesman / Sunday Times / Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year

    Alice Oswald’s poems are always vivid and distinct, alert and deeply, physically, engaged in the natural world. Mutability – a sense that all matter is unstable in the face of mortality – is at the heart of this new collection and each poem is involved in that drama: the held tension that is embodied life, and life’s losing struggle with the gravity of nature.

    Working as before with an ear to the oral tradition, these poems attend to the organic shapes and sounds and momentum of the language as it’s spoken as well as how it’s thought: fresh, fluid and propulsive, but also fragmentary, repetitive. These are poems that are written to be read aloud.

    Orpheus and Tithonus appear at the beginning and end of this book, alive in an English landscape, stuck in the clockwork of their own speech, and the Hours – goddesses of the seasons and the natural apportioning of Time – are the presiding figures. The persistent conditions are flux and falling, and the lines are in constant motion: approaching, from daring new angles, our experience of being human, and coalescing into poems of simple, stunning beauty.

  • Buy the book

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