Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Costa Book Prize 2021 unveils its five category winners

(Costa Book Awards/PA)
(Costa Book Awards/PA)

A former newspaper editor has won a major book prize for his biography of media mogul Robert Maxwell.

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston triumphed in the biography category at the Costa Book Awards and is now eligible for the final prize – book of the year.

Previous non-fiction books by the former arts editor of the Sunday Telegraph include A Very English Scandal and The Dig, both of which have been adapted for the screen, and a TV version of Fall is also in the works.

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell (Costa Book Prize/PA)

The win comes shortly after Maxwell’s daughter, British socialite Ghislaine, was convicted of helping to procure teenage girls for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Costa Book Awards, which are the only major prize open solely to authors living in the UK and Ireland and celebrate books in five categories – first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children’s book.

Short story writer and photographer Caleb Azumah Nelson won the first novel award for Open Water, which has been praised by fellow writers as “a love song to black art and thought”.

Unsettled Ground (Costa Book Prize/PA)

Author Claire Fuller took home the novel award for her fourth book, Unsettled Ground, about middle-aged twins Jeanie and Julius who live with their mother in rural isolation and poverty.

Poet and university lecturer Hannah Lowe claims the poetry prize for her third collection, The Kids, a book of sonnets drawing on her decade teaching at an inner-city London sixth form.

Finally, the children’s book award goes to actor, writer and director Manjeet Mann for The Crossing, a verse novel about two teenagers from opposite worlds inspired by hope, grief and the tragedies of the refugee crisis.

Open Water (Costa Book Prize/PA)

Jill McDonald, chief executive of Costa Coffee, said: “We’re celebrating a milestone 50th anniversary year for the Costa Book Awards, and the range and breadth of this year’s category winners illustrates the awards’ longstanding appeal, as the home of enjoyable reads to suit all tastes.

“Congratulations to all this year’s category award-winning authors.”

The authors, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 934 entries.

The overall winner of the 2021 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and will be announced at a ceremony on February 1 2021.

The Mermaid Of Black Conch by Trinidadian-born British writer Monique Roffey was named Book of the Year in 2020.

Already a subscriber? Sign in