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Book awards: Whitbread Book of the Year

Book awards by cover

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Works (21)

TitlesOrder
Elegies by Douglas Dunn1985
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro1986
Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan1987
The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer1988
Coleridge: Early Visions, 1772-1804 by Richard Holmes1989
Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley1990
A Life of Picasso, Volume 1: 1881-1906 by John Richardson1991
Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington1992
Theory of War by Joan Brady1993
Felicia's Journey by William Trevor1994
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson1995
The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney1996
Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes1997
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes1998
Beowulf by Beowulf Poet1999
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale2000
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman2001
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin2002
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon2003
Small Island by Andrea Levy2004
Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Colour: 1909-1954 by Hilary Spurling2005

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Award description

The Costa Book Awards award is one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. The Costa Book Awards is unique in many ways, not least in having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. The winner in each category receives £5,000. One of these five books is selected as the overall winner of the Book of the Year and receives a further £25,000, making a total prize fund of £50,000. It is the only prize which places children's books alongside adult books in this way. The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards.

From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership - the year that both Costa and the Book Awards celebrated their 35th anniversary. Since 1971, the awards have rewarded a wide range of excellent books and authors across all genres. 

Since the introduction of the overall Book of the Year Award in 1985, it has been won seven times by a novel, three times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book. Winners of the Book of the Year Award from 2006 onwards can be found here.

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