The winner of the Costa Prize Book of the Year 2017 was announced yesterday. The poet Helen Dunmore received the prize posthumously for her poetry collection Inside the Wave, a collection of poems written during Dunmore’s battle with cancer. She died in June of last year, 64 years old. The poems, which are guaranteed to leave a lump in your throat, are ‘concerned with the borderline between life and death’. And if that doesn’t do it, listening her daughter talk about her poems on BBC Radio 4 this week certainly will, unless you have a heart of stone.
‘To be alive is to be inside the wave, always travelling until it breaks and is gone’
The Costa Prize Category winners announced earlier are:
Costa First Novel Award – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. A bit of a disappointment in Jane’s opinion. See her review here.
Costa Novel Award – Reservoir 13 by John McGregor. A beautifully written, but quite slow novel about a small community shaken by the abduction of a young girl. Sadly, this book failed to sustain my interest. Perhaps I should give it another try…Incidentally, one of James Wood’s favourite reads from last year.
Costa Biography Award – In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott. About a girl growing up in a religious cult in England. Picked this up at my local bookstore the other day as it looked quite interesting. In my experience, Costa Biography winners are often more interesting than their novel award winners.
Costa Poetry Award – Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore. (see above)
Costa Children’s Book Award – The Explorer by Kathrine Rundell. The best children’s book Kirstin has read in a long time. Go for it! See here review here.