11 January 2008

Young Stalin wins Costa Biography Award

Congratulations to Simon Sebag Montefiore who recently won the Biography category of the prestigious Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbread Book Awards) for Young Stalin. The judges said: "This biography opens up the previously hidden secrets of Stalin's youth. An amazing story, exceptionally well told.”

Based on massive research and astonishing evidence in archives from Moscow to Georgia, Young Stalin is a chronicle of the Revolution, a pre-history of the USSR and a fascinatingly intimate biography. Simon Sebag Motefiore is also the author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar which is a companion book and prequel to Young Stalin.

Young Stalin received rave reviews on publication and was actually one of the most reviewed books of 2007. Robert Service of The Sunday Times said: “Montefiore qualifies for the veteran-of-labour medal with his new book. The opening scene is the armed robbery: this shows the author at his best. Montefiore gives us a richly and fluently documented study of the Chief Terrorist in the making."

Each of the category winners of the Costa Book Awards receives £5,000 and the overall winner, which will be announced on 22nd January, receives a further £25,000. The other category winners were:

  • First Novel: What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn
  • Novel: Day by A.L. Kennedy
  • Poetry Award: Tilt by Jean Sprackland
  • Children's: The Bower Bird by Ann Kelley
Last year’s overall winner was The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. To see video interviews with all of last year’s category winners go here.

To listen to more books previously nominated for the Costa Book Awards go here.

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