Mary Talbot‘s Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes has won the biography section in the 2012 Costa Book Awards.
Drawn by husband Bryan Talbot, the award has delighted the couple, who The Guardian reports have known about their win for some time but had to keep quiet about it.
While this is not the first graphic work to win a major literary prize – Art Spiegelman’s Maus won a Pulitzer in 1992 and Chris Ware won the Guardian first book prize in 2001 for Jimmy Corrigan: the Smartest Kid on Earth – the Costa Award is still a significant moment for the graphic medium and 2012 marks the first time comics have featured in the Costa nominations (see news story).
“It is a good thing for graphic novels as a whole,” Bryan Talbot told the Guardian, whose works include The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, The Tale of One Bad Rat and Alice in Sunderland. “Graphic novels are becoming increasingly accepted as a legitimate art form.”
Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes tells the story of James Joyce’s tragic daughter Lucia, who spent the last 30 years of her life in a mental institution. Into that tale, Mary Talbot has woven the story of her own troubled relationship with her father, the eminent Joycean scholar James S Atherton.
In other categories, Hilary Mantel won the novel award for Bring Up the Bodies; Francesca Segal won first novel for The Innocents; Kathleen Jamie’s The Overhaul came first in poetry, and Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon was named children’s book of the year.
Among the nominations this year were Days of the Bagnold Summer by Joff Winterhart while artist and writer Dave Shelton, who writes and draws Good Dog, Bad Dog, for both The DFC and Phoenix was shortlisted in the Children’s Book category with his novel A Boy And A Bear In A Boat (see news story).
• Costa Book Awards: www.costabookawards.com
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