Irish author Sebastian Barry has won the Costa Novel Award for the second time for his book Days Without End. The story is set during the US civil war, which has been described as ‘a miracle of a book’. Barry is noted for his dense literary writing style and is considered one of Ireland’s finest writers.
He has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novels A Long Long Way (2005) and The Secret Scripture (2008), the latter of which won the 2008 Costa Book of the Year and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His 2011 novel On Canaan’s Side was longlisted for the Booker.
Debut novelist, Francis Spufford won the First Novel Award for Golden Hill, set in 18th-century New York, and Alice Oswald collected the Poetry Award for Falling Awake.
Other winners included Dublin-based author Brian Conaghan who won the Children’s Book Award for The Bombs That Brought Us Together as well as Keggie Carew who won the Biography Award for Dadland, the story of her 10-year race to unravel the truth about her Irish father’s past as he slips into dementia.
The authors, who each win £5,000, will compete for the 2016 Costa Book of the Year, which is worth £30,000 and will be announced on January 31st.