Rooney scores again

The Guardian - Review - - Forewords -

This week Ir­ish au­thor Sally Rooney con­tin­ued her run of suc­cess by bag­ging the Costa novel award for Nor­mal Peo­ple. With only her se­cond book, she be­comes the youngest win­ner of the prize: an ex­tra­or­di­nary ac­co­lade, but one for which my fel­low judges and I were in unan­i­mous agree­ment. The Costas set out to re­ward en­joy­able books, and Rooney’s bril­liantly fresh story of two young peo­ple find­ing and los­ing each other in an un­cer­tain world has de­lighted read­ers and crit­ics alike.

Rooney is now the high­est-pro­file con­tender as the five cat­e­gory win­ners are weighed against each other for the book of the year award. Stuart Tur­ton took the first novel prize for his mind-bend­ing, time-trav­el­ling coun­try house crime de­but The Seven Deaths of Eve­lyn Hard­cas­tle. (Tur­ton writes about grow­ing up in Widnes on page 35.)

The bi­og­ra­phy award went to Bart van Es’s The Cut Out Girl, in which he un­cov­ers the life story of a young Jewish girl who was shel­tered from the Nazis by his Dutch grand­par­ents. Hi­lary McKay won the chil­dren’s award for the se­cond time, for The Sky­larks’ War, about a fam­ily dur­ing the first world war, while the poetry prize went to JO Mor­gan for his long poem on the ef­fects of the cold war, As­sur­ances. The over­all win­ner will be an­nounced on 29 Jan­uary.

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