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Début novel wins Costa Book of the Year

Nathan Filer has beaten bookies' favourite Kate Atkinson and other established names to win the Costa Book of the Year for 2013...

Posted on 28th January 2014 by Dan Lewis Lewis

The Shock of the FallReplicating Kate Atkinson's victory with Behind The Scenes at the Museum - Nathan Filer has won this year's Costa Book of the Year prize for his début The Shock of the Fall.

A former mental health nurse turned lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University, Filer beat established names including Michael Symmons RobertsLucy Hughes HallettChris Riddell, and Atkinson herself to win the £30,000 prize.

Chair of judges Rose Tremain admitted that the decision was "not quite unanimous" but described the winning book as "astonishingly sure-footed" and possessed of a "perfect alignment between the voice of the narrator and its subject."

The story follows a boy battling schizophrenia as he comes to terms with his role in the death of his brother 10 years earlier.

Yet Tremain was keen to stress that this is not just a novel about schizophrenia, but also "about grief and coming to terms with" it, explaining that the judging panel felt "genuine excitement" about Filer as an author.

Earlier in the evening, Angela Readman was announced as the winner of this year's Short Story Prize for The Keeper of the Jackalopes - having been shortlisted for the award last year also.

Read an extract from The Shock of the Fall

Read about the other shortlisted novels

You can Reserve & Collect The Shock of the Fall from your local Waterstones bookshop (http://bit.ly/MqYgxE), buy it online at Waterstones.com (http://bit.ly/MqYbtT) or download it in ePub format (http://bit.ly/MqYkgL)