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A.L. Kennedy wins Costa Book Award

A.L. Kennedy, an Associate Professor in the Warwick Writing Program, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, has been awarded the Costa Book of the Year Award for her fifth novel, Day, the story of a former RAF prisoner-of-war returning to Germany to confront his demons.

This award follows on from her recent success in winning the fiction section for Costa earlier this month - The 2007 Costa Novel Award of £5000. The Costa Book of the Year Award makes her the outright winner across all genres.

Previously know as The Whitbread Prize, the Costa Award is one of the UK’s biggest fiction awards and recognises the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. The announcement was made on Tuesday 22 January at an awards ceremony held at The Intercontinental Hotel in central London where Kennedy was presented with a cheque for £25,000 by Costa's Managing Director, John Derkach.

Scottish author and stand-up comedian A.L. Kennedy is a graduate of the University (BA Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts 1983-86) and is the holder of Warwick's William Longrigg Creative Writing Fellow Award 2007. She was also recently awarded with the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. This highly prestigious international award is given to writers of exceptional quality who also demonstrate the potential for continued outstanding creative work.

Kennedy beat best-selling biographer, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, first-time novelist Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost, poet Jean Sprackland, Tilt and children's writer Ann Kelley, The Bower Bird for the overall prize. Day, published by Jonathan Cape, is the eighth novel to take the overall prize. Andrea Levy was the last author to win the Book of the Year with a novel taking the prize in 2004 for Small Island.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won seven times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book.