Novelist and comic Alison Kennedy wins Costa book award
Scottish novelist and stand-up comedian Alison Kennedy has won the coveted Costa Book of the Year award for her novel Day.
The part-time comic, who has been the favourite for the former Whitbread prize, walks away with a £25,000 prize.
Day was the author’s fifth novel about Alfred Day, a psychologically broken RAF gunner who returns to Germany in 1949, where he was a prisoner of war, in an attempt to confront the torturous time he spent there.
Kennedy is known for her bleak style of writing and having recently been treated for depression admits, ‘my life is not comfortable to me’.
One critic wrote of Day: ‘The irritable, hopeless tiredness of her hero permeates the reader the way damp pervades bones. Kennedy does bleak the way Russians do epic.’
Joanna Trollope who chaired the judges panel said opinion was divided between Day and Catherine O’Flynn’s debut novel, What Was Lost. Trollope said: ‘It [Day] is beautifully written, it’s got shadows of James Joyce in it. She’s an extraordinary writer.’