One of Londonist's reads of the year, The Meaning of Night (partly set in Victorian London), is up for the prestigious Costa Award (formerly the Whitbread Award, and nothing to do with TMON being hot, satisfying, available on every high street but spectacularly over-priced). Author Michael Cox, who we interviewed earlier this year, has pulled through all manner of medical calamities to reach this point, as he describes in The Independent.
I'm 58, a balding white bloke who's got cancer and just had a heart attack. I never thought it might happen to me," he said from his home in Northamptonshire yesterday. "I was felling pretty sorry for myself in a ghastly NHS ward when my wife [Dizzy] told me the news. It really lifted my spirits.
Get well soon, Michael. You have to write the sequel!
The full shortlist for the Costa First Novel Award
Michael Cox for The Meaning of Night (John Murray)
Marilyn Heward Mills for Cloth Girl (Little, Brown)
Stef Penney for The Tenderness of Wolves (Quercus)
James Scudamore for The Amnesia Clinic (Harvill Secker)
Other shortlists here.