An all-female shortlist for best first novel for Costa Book Awards
FOR THE FIRST time in its 36-year-history the shortlist for the best first novel for the Costa (formerly Whitbread) Book Awards is all female.
Three of the four titles vying for the award are written by women born overseas. Bangladeshi-born Tahmima Anam, writes on the dangers a family confronts as former East Pakistan is thrust into its war of independence in her novel, A Golden Age.
Native Sri Lankan, Roma Tearne left her country aged 10 and her novel Mosquito is set against the backdrop of the violence of the civil war. Whilst Indian-born Nikita Lalwani’s debut novel centres on a young girl from an Indian immigrant family in the UK and her speeded up education, seeing her go to Oxford University at just 15.
The fourth new novelist is Birmingham-born Catherine O’Flynn, who’s debut novel What Was Lost was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and the Orange Prize this year.
The overall Costa Book of the Year Award is announced on 23 January.