Sebastian Barry Announced as Winner of the 2016 Costa Book Of The Year

Sebastian Barry Announced as Winner of the 2016 Costa Book Of The Year

Days Without End, a powerful novel of duty and family set against the American Indian and Civil Wars by Irish novelist and playwright Sebastian Barry, has been named the 2016 Costa Book of the Year.

Barry’s win secures him a unique place in literary history as the first novelist to ever win the overall Book of the Year twice. Poets Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes are the only two writers to have achieved the double to date.* Barry first won the Book of the Year in 2008 for his fourth novel, the bestselling The Secret Scripture

Barry beat bookmakers’ favourite, debut non-fiction writer Keggie Carew, for Dadland, debut novelist Francis Spufford for Golden Hill, poet Alice Oswald for Falling Awake, and YA writer Brian Conaghan for The Bombs That Brought Us Together to win the overall prize and a cheque for £30,000 at the awards ceremony. 

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, uniquely, recognises the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - published in the last year. 

Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK's most prestigious book prize in 2006. 2016 marks the 45th year of the Book Awards.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won twelve times by a novel, five times by a first novel, six times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and twice by a children’s book.

*For more information, please contact Helena Bartholomew at TVC Group on 0207 380 8000 or