Beauty by Raphael Selbourne wins 2009 Costa First Novel Award

News item

Raphael Selbourne’s debut Beauty has been declared the winner of the prestigious 2009 Costa First Novel Award. The announcement was made last night on Radio 4’s Front Row, and you can listen again to the relevant section of the broadcast here (at about 3 minutes 45 seconds in).

The Costa judges were full of praise for Beauty, declaring that the novel ‘captures the raw humanity of inner city life with extraordinary authenticity.’ Discussing the winning novel on Front Row, the Sunday Telegraph literary editor Michael Prodger said: ‘People have been complaining this year how the contemporary novel doesn’t deal with real life… This one does, and in spades.’

Be sure to catch Raphael’s upcoming appearances on the television and radio today, including Midlands Today and Radio 4’s PM with Eddie Mair. Do also look out for pieces on and interviews with the author in the national newspapers, such as in today’s Independent newspaper and a Times exclusive feature this Saturday.

This is wonderful news for Raphael and for Wolverhampton, in which the novel is set. It is also great news for Tindal Street Press: Beauty is our second winner of the Costa First Novel category in the last three years, since Catherine O’Flynn’s What Was Lost in 2007.