Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Whitbread Prizes

They announced the shortlist for the Whitbread Prizes today, as follows:

Novel shortlist

Nick Hornby - A Long Way Down
Salman Rushdie - Shalimar The Clown
Ali Smith - The Accidental
Christopher Wilson - The Ballad of Lee Cotton

First novel shortlist

Tash Aw - The Harmony Silk Factory
Diana Evans - 26a
Peter Hobbs -The Short Day Dying
Rachel Zadok - Gem Squash Tokoloshe

Biography shortlist

Nigel Farndale - Haw-Haw
Richard Mabey - Nature Cure
Alexander Masters - Stuart: A Life Backwards
Hilary Spurling - Matisse The Master

Poetry shortlist

David Harsent - Legion
Christopher Logue - Cold Calls
Jane Yeh - Marabou
Richard Price - Lucky Day

Children's book shortlist

Frank Cottrell Boyce - Framed
Geraldine McCaughrean - The White Darkness
Hilary McKay - Permanent Rose
Kate Thompson - The New Policeman

All the various category winners plus the overall Book of the Year selection will be announced on 4 January. Apparently this year's awards had 476 entries, which is the highest ever number of entries for the Whitbread. Of course, Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass won not only the children's prize, but also the Book of the Year a couple of years ago, and I don't doubt that children's authors (and their fans) will be hoping that one of the children's books wins again this year. I've not read any of them as yet, but I've heard a lot about both Permanent Rose and The White Darkness.

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