With Reid’s A Scattering named Costa’s Book of the Year, Colm Toibin continues to be a bridesmaid. Albeit a bridesmaid £5,000 richer. Reid’s book of poetry, an account of his wife’s struggle with cancer and eventual death, won in an upset over Toibin’s Brooklyn.
Unlike last year’s winner, the panel of judges had nothing but glowing things to say about A Scattering:
Novelist Josephine Hart, who chaired the panel of judges, said his winning book, A Scattering was “good bordering on great,” and that when she said great she meant the likes of Yeats and Browning. “It is devastating piece of work and all of us on the jury felt it was a book we would wish everybody to read.”
Hart said the winner, decided by an 11-person jury, had been chosen by a “substantial” majority. The dissenters were happy for it to win, she said. (“Christopher Reid wins Costa book prize,” by Mark Brown, The Guardian)