In early January, we learnt the category (Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children’s Book) winners of the Costa Book Awards 2019, which we announced here. Each category winner is awarded a cheque for £5,000. Then, these category winning books are put forward for the Costa Book of the Year Award which was revealed in a ceremony this evening.
The winning recipient receives the accolade of the Costa Book Award and a cheque for £30,000. Previous winners include; Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, and last year’s winner, The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es. So, without further ado, the winner of the 2019 Costa Book of the Year Award is… The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather, making it the second year in a row in which the book selected as Book of the Year is from the biography category.
Sian Williams, author, journalist and Chair of the Costa Book Awards joined presenter Samira Ahmed on BBC’s Front Row to talk about the winning book, The Volunteer. Williams stated, “It’s an incredible story. It is pacey like a thriller, it has the tension and the colour of a thriller. It reads like fiction and it’s not, it’s fact and it’s horrific facts but it never over plays the drama of it. And I think all the judges felt that it was a story that we’d not heard before and the fact that this author has found and told this story and told it so well means that we hear Witold’s voice loud and clear at a time when maybe he didn’t hear it.”