The Hand and the Hare: The Costa Book Awards, which are a biggish deal in the UK though no more well known here than the coffee chain that sponsors them, announced their five category winners last night (the twist with the Costas is that they then choose an overall Book of the Year from those five later this month). Only two of the five have been published in the US yet, but both of those were Best of the Month picks by this here team of editors in 2010:
- Novel: The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell (out here in paperback in a few weeks; Anne picked it in April)
- First Novel: Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai (not out in the US yet; the UK edition already has a Costa stripe across the cover, at least on line)
- Biography: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (I picked it in September)
- Poetry: Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott (on Amazon.co.uk)
- Children's: Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace (coming to the US in April)
Mr. Ross and Mr. Shawn: In what is a small dose of candy for a New Yorker-phile like myself, James Stevenson had a page-long graphic reminiscence in yesterday's NYT of his teenage clerkship in the eccentric halls of the magazine in 1945.
Local boy makes good drinks: We were all thrilled when we noticed today that our dear former colleague Brad Thomas Parsons (now guiding novelists through the wilds of Facebook and generally being a foodie-about-town in NYC) has a pre-order detail page live on Amazon for his upcoming book, Bitters: The Spirited Story of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails and Recipes. We knew you when, BTP!
Moving and shaking: Lori Gottlieb made an excellent case on All Things Considered yesterday for Elizabeth McCracken's "brilliantly funny and devastatingly painful" memoir of her stillborn child, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, sending it to the top of this morning's Movers & Shakers list.