Two Norwich authors win Costa Book Awards

Rebecca Stott has won the 2017 Costa Biography Award for her book In The Days Of Rain.Photo: supplie

Rebecca Stott has won the 2017 Costa Biography Award for her book In The Days Of Rain.Photo: supplied by Costa Book Awards - Credit: supplied by Costa Book Awards

Two authors connected to Norwich have been awarded prizes in the 2017 Costa Book Awards.

Jon McGregor has won the 2017 Costa Novel Award for his book Reservoir 13.Photo: supplied by Costa B

Jon McGregor has won the 2017 Costa Novel Award for his book Reservoir 13.Photo: supplied by Costa Book Awards - Credit: supplied by Costa Book Awards

Rebecca Stott has been named as the winner of the biography award and Jon McGregor has won the novel category.

The two writers are now among five category winners in the running for the prestigious Costa Book of the Year accolade which will be announced later this month.

Rebecca Stott, who lives in Norwich and who teaches English literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, scooped the 2017 Costa Biography Award for her book In The Days Of Rain, which is published by 4th Estate.

She penned the book after her dying father begged her to help him write the memoir he'd been struggling with for years.


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He wanted to tell the story of their family who for generations had all been members of a fundamentalist Christian sect called the Exclusive Brethren, a closed community who believed the world is ruled by Satan.

The Costa judges described her book as 'a stand-out winner.'

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'We were all gripped and astonished by this unique life and the exquisite way she tells it,' the judges said.

Meanwhile Jon McGregor, a creative writing professor who grew up in Norwich and took part in a City of Literature event during the 2017 Norfolk and Norwich Festival, won the 2017 Costa Novel Award for his book Reservoir 13, which is also published by 4th Estate.

The book tells the story of what happens to a community in the heart of England after a teenage girl on holiday goes missing in the hills.

The judges described the book as 'hypnotic, compelling and original.'

'This stunning novel simply blew us away,' they said.

The other three category winners are: Gail Honeyman, who won the Costa First Novel Award for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; Helen Dunmore, who posthumously won the Costa Poetry Award for Inside the Wave; and Katherine Rundell who won the Costa Children's Book Award for The Explorer.

The ultimate winner of the Costa Book of the Year prize will be announced at a ceremony in London on January 30.

For more information on the 2017 Costa Book Awards, visit www.costabookawards.com

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