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Costa Book Awards announce category winners

books Updated: Jan 05, 2013 12:59 IST
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Hilary Mantel, Francesca Segal, and husband and wife team Mary and Bryan Talbot are among the winners of the 2012 Costa Book Awards.

The awards, previously known as the Whitbread Book Awards in reference to Costa's conglomerate owner, focus on the output of writers based in the UK and Ireland, and are intended to recognize "some of the most outstanding and enjoyable books of the last year," with each award decided upon by a panel of three.

Hilary Mantel was annouced winner of the Novel category for "Bring Up the Bodies," from a shortlist of four that included "Life! Death! Prizes!" by Stephen May, "The Heart That Broke In" by James Meek, and "Days of the Bagnold Summer" by Joff Winterhart.

Mantel's Reformation-era sequel to "Wolf Hall" won the Man Booker Prize in October 2012, with the author herself being pronounced UK Author of the Year at the National Book Awards in December.

Francesca Segal won the First Novel Award for "The Innocents"; also commended by their presence on the shortlist were "The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder" by JW Ironmonger, Jess Richards' "Snake Ropes," and "The Bellwether Revivals," which came from Benjamin Wood.

Just as "The Innocents" references Edith Wharton's 1920 novel "The Age of Innocence," Mary and Bryan Talbot's biographical graphic novel "Dotter of her Father's Eyes" examines the influence of James Joyce in two different settings; Kathleen Jamie's poetry collection "The Overhaul" succeeds previous winner "The Bees" by Carol Ann Duffy.

In the Children's section, "Maggot Moon" by Sally Gardner took top honors, against a shortlist that featured "The Seeing," "What's Up with Jody Barton?" and "A Boy and a Bear in a Boat."

The five category winners, each of whom receive a £5,000 prize, now go forward for the overall Book of the Year award, worth £30,000 and to be announced on January 29.