Little-known novelist vies with big names for Costa prize


Nicholson’s The Elephant Keeper was one of the most eye-catching. The judges described his book about a stable boy who develops a deepening relationship with Jenny, an elephant, as “an unusual and absorbing story – a real discovery.” It was one of a record number of 155 entries for the category with Mantel’s bestselling doorstopper about Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall, unsurprisingly one of the four shortlisted books.

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