• Women win all five Costa categories for first time
"It's wonderful," said Talbot on hearing that a woman won in every category. "It just shows how much female talent there is out there."
She and her husband won the £5,000 biography prize for a book that interweaves the true and tragic story of James Joyce's daughter Lucia with the author's own troubled relationship with her father, the eminent Joycean scholar James S Atherton.
The Talbots have known of the win for several weeks. "It has been really hard keeping quiet about it," said Mary. "We were astonished. Just being shortlisted was amazing and hearing we'd won the category was stunning. We're delighted of course, both personally – it's the first story I've had published – but also for the medium, I can't believe a graphic novel has won."
The last graphic novel spike came about 25 years ago with the popularity of books such as The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen and Maus. The problem then, said Talbot, was that there were not enough books to feed this. "By the time you'd read a dozen or so of the best titles, there wasn't enough left to keep this nascent interest going. Since then, there has been an increasing number of graphic novels published and now we have this whole canon of quality work.
"We are living in the golden age of graphic novels. There are more and better comics being drawn today than ever in the history of the medium and there's such a range of styles of artwork, of genre and of subject matter."
Judges called Dotter of Her Father's Eyes "a beautifully crafted" work "which crosses the boundaries between literature and the graphic genre with extraordinary effect".
Full story at The Guardian
And from The Bookseller:
Women writers dominate Costa category wins
In a women-dominated list of category winners, the Costa Biography Award went to Dotter of her Father's Eyes (Jonathan Cape), a memoir in graphic form co-written by Mary and Bryan Talbot. The book, a study of two father-daughter relationships, is the first graphic work to win a Costa Award.
Francesca Segal's debut The Innocents (Chatto & Windus), set in a London Jewish community and modelled on Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, has won the Costa First Novel Award. Meanwhile poet Kathleen Jamie's The Overhaul (Picador) won the the Costa Poetry Award and Sally Gardner took the Costa Children's Book Award for her young adult novel Maggot Moon (Hot Key Books).
All five winners receive £5,000 and will now go on to compete for the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year award, to be announced on 28th January. The winner of the inaugural Costa Short Story Award, voted for by the public, will also be revealed at the ceremony.
Ron Johns of Mabrecon Books and Sarah Clarke, range manager at Waterstones, are among those judging this year's category winners, alongside authors including Marcus Sedgwick and D J Taylor.
Andrew Miller's Pure (Sceptre) won the Costa Book of the Year award last year.
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