Irish author Sebastian Barry has won the Costa Book of the Year with his novel Days Without End (Faber). Barry said the book was ‘dedicated eternally to [my son] Toby’. It has been described by Prof Kate Williams, who chaired the judging panel, as “a searing, magnificent and incredibly moving description of how the West was won”. Barry also won in 2008 with The Secret Scripture.
This is the second time Barry has won the award making him the third writer to win it twice following in the footsteps of Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, and the first Novel of the Year winner to do the double. He receives £30,000 prize money for winning the award. The £30,000 (A$49,780) Costa Book of the Year award is presented each year to an ‘outstanding’ book by an author based in the UK and Ireland.