“Out of Shadows,” set during Robert Mugabe’s early years in power, is Jason Wallace’s first novel, and is based in part on his own experiences as a child when he moved to Zimbabwe with his family at the age of 12.
“For us, this extraordinary debut novel was a unanimous winner,” the panel of judges said in a statement. “This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since.”
Out of Shadows was one of five category winners at the annual book awards, which honour writers based in the UK and Ireland.
Each category winner receives 5,000 pounds ($8,000) and has a chance to claim the overall Costa Book of the Year Award worth a further 30,000 pounds. It will be announced in London on January 25.
Kishwar Desai picked up the first novel award for “Witness the Night,” centring around social worker Simran Singh’s investigation into the murders of 13 people.
The judges praised Desai for having “fearlessly blown the lid on the problems that simmer under the surface of modern-day India.” Reuters