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Kate Atkinson wins Costa novel award

Kate Atkinson has won the UK’s Costa novel award for the second time in three years for her ninth book, A God in Ruins.

The novel is a companion to Life After Life, which won the 2013 award.

A gothic horror tale, The Loney, by Andrew Michael Hurley, a former teacher and librarian, won the Costa first novel award.

Described by Stephen King as “an amazing piece of fiction”, it’s the frontrunner to scoop the 2015 Costa Book of the Year, which is voted for from the winners of the five categories; novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children’s book.

The overall winner will be announced at a star-studded event on January 26.

The judging panel – chaired by The Mistra Chronicles author James Heneage, and including Matt Haig, Penny Junor, Katy Brand, Jane Asher and Janet Ellis – hailed The Loney as as “close to the perfect first novel as you can get”.

Historian and writer Andrea Wulf triumphed in the Costa biography category for The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, The Lost Hero of Science.

The book tells the story of the visionary German naturalist whose ideas inspired Charles Darwin, and changed the way we see the natural world.

Young adult fiction and children’s writer Frances Hardinge has claimed the children’s book award with The Lie Tree, a Victorian melodrama.

Scottish poet, writer and musician Don Paterson won the Costa poetry award for 40 Sonnets, his latest collection.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland.

It also, uniquely, recognises books across five categories published in the last year.

The 2014 Costa Book of the Year was H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, winner of the biography category for that year.

“The Costa Book Awards have an extraordinary track record of recognising and celebrating some of the best and most enjoyable British books,” Christopher Rogers, managing director of Costa.

“It’s fantastic to be announcing another stellar collection of award winners which we know people will absolutely love reading.”

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