Two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies has won the Costa Novel Award and joins four other Costa winners in the race for book of the year.
The Costa, formerly known as the Whitbread Award, chooses the best books written in the U.K. or Ireland in the past year.
Female authors dominated all the categories this year and for the first time, a graphic novel took the biography category.
- Biography: Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, by Bryan and Mary Talbot, a biography of James Joyce's daughter interwoven with a memoir of the author's own troubled relationship with her father, a Joyce scholar.
- First novel: The Innocents, by Francesca Segal, a modern retelling of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence set in a contemporary Jewish community in northwest London.
- Poetry: The Overhaul, by Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie.
- Children’s book: Maggot Moon, by Sally Gardner, the tale of a dyslexic boy's stand against life in a brutal and oppressive state.
Each wins £5,000 (about $8,000 Cdn) and is entered in competition for the final award, Costa book of the year, with a winner to be named Jan. 29.
Mantel’s Wolf Hall, the first instalation of her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, won the Costa novel award in 2010, but missed out on the top prize. Her sequel Bring Up the Bodies is a darker story that centres on Cromwell’s role in the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. It won the Booker Prize in 2012.