(reformatted from The New York Times, article by Lawrence Van Gelder, published January 4):
Contenders for the Whitbread Book of the Year prize dwindled to five yesterday in London, where winners, chosen from 476 entries, were announced in the five awards categories: novel, first novel, biography, poetry and children's book.
One of those works will be chosen the Book of the Year, to be announced on Jan. 24, when its author is to receive the grand prize, the equivalent of $43,000.
Each of the category winners receives about $8,600.
Ali Smith, for "The Accidental," chosen best novel;
Tash Aw for "The Harmony Silk Factory," best first novel;
Hilary Spurling for "Matisse the Master," the second part of her biography of Matisse;
Christopher Logue for "Cold Calls," in poetry;
and Kate Thompson for "The New Policeman," best children's book.