Thursday 23 May 2019

Irish author Sally Rooney (27) has write stuff as youngest winner of coveted literary prize

Prized talent: Irish author Sally Rooney, who wrote ‘Normal People’. Photo: Costa Book Awards/PA Wire
Prized talent: Irish author Sally Rooney, who wrote ‘Normal People’. Photo: Costa Book Awards/PA Wire

Julia Hunt

Irish author Sally Rooney has won the Costa Novel Award for her book 'Normal People'.

The 27-year-old becomes the youngest recipient of the coveted prize.

Her second book, after 2017's 'Conversations With Friends', is a coming-of-age love story which the judges said "would electrify any reader".

It is the story of an on-off romance between Marianne and Connell, who grow up in the same small rural Irish town and begin a tentative relationship that continues through the years.

The awards are given out across five categories - novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children's book.

Stuart Turton takes the First Novel Award for his debut 'The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle'.

The crime novel has been sold in 20 territories to date and has been optioned for TV.

Bart van Es won the Biography prize for his memoir 'The Cut Out Girl', a moving story of war, families, loss, survival and friendship.

The Poetry Award went to Scottish poet JO Morgan for 'Assurances'.

Hilary McKay won the Children's book accolade for 'The Skylarks' War'.

The winning authors - who will each receive €5,500 - were selected from 641 entries and their books are now eligible for the top prize, the 2018 Costa Book of the Year.

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges chaired by BBC presenter and journalist Sophie Raworth with category judges Rachel Joyce, Sathnam Sanghera, Mimi Khalvati, Anita Sethi and Rick O'Shea.

They will be joined by actor Simon Williams, writer and broadcaster Kate Humble and 'Bake Off' star Prue Leith.

The winner of the Book of the Year award will be announced on January 29.

The winner of the Costa Short Story Award, which is now in its seventh year, is voted for by the public and will also be announced at the ceremony.

Voting is open until January 11, until which time the three shortlisted authors remain anonymous.

Irish Independent

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