All disheartened, kicked-in-the-teeth aspiring novelists should take heart: after being rejected by 14 literary agents, the 15th said yes, and former postwoman Catherine O'Flynn yesterday made off with one of the year's most prestigious literary prizes.
Her novel, What Was Lost, was named winner of the 2007 Costa first novel award after being longlisted but not winning the Booker and the Orange prize and being shortlisted for the Guardian's first book award. O'Flynn said: "I hope it does give people hope. It's very hard to get published and it's hard if you go in there with this burning ambition. I didn't have that, I was protected by my natural pessimism."
The judges described What Was Lost, based around the endless corridors and CCTV world of a city shopping centre, as an extraordinary book. "A formidable novel blending humour and pathos in a cleverly constructed and absorbing mystery."
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Catherine O'Flynn wins Costa prize
After being short and long-listed for every literary prize going, Catherine O'Flynn's 'What was Lost' has won the 2007 Costa first novel award. From the Guardian: