LONDON (Reuters) - Female authors scooped all five categories in the Costa Book Awards for the first time on Wednesday, with two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel up against a graphic memoir “Dotter of her Father’s Eyes” for the overall title.
Husband-and-wife team Bryan and Mary Talbot jointly won the Costa Biography Award for “Dotter of her Father’s Eyes,” a biography of James Joyce’s daughter interwoven with a memoir of the author’s own troubled relationship with her father, the Joycean scholar James S. Atherton.
Mary Talbot, a scholar and author, teamed up with husband Bryan who has worked on underground comics and superhero stories including “Judge Dredd” and “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight”.
Their collaboration was the first graphic work to win a Costa category award, and as well as receiving a check for 5,000 pounds ($8,000) the authors are in the running for the “Costa Book of the Year” title to be announced on January 29.
Mantel will look to add to her impressive list of literary honors, after “Bring up the Bodies”, the sequel to her acclaimed historical novel “Wolf Hall,” scooping the Costa Novel Award category.
Journalist, critic and writer Francesca Segal’s debut novel “The Innocents”, set in a Jewish community in northwest London and modeled on Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence,” won the Costa First Novel Award.
Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie won the poetry prize for her collection “The Overhaul,” and writer/illustrator and dyslexia campaigner Sally Gardner claimed the Costa Children’s Book Award for “Maggot Moon”.
The Costa awards go to writers based in the UK and Ireland for a work published in the last year. They were established in 1971 by Whitbread but were renamed after Costa Coffee took over the sponsorship.
Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won 10 times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and once by a children’s book.
The 2011 Costa Book of the Year was “Pure” by Andrew Miller.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; editing by Patricia Reaney