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Bristol first-time author Nathan Filer joins top names in Costa Book Awards

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

Bristol mental health nurse Nathan Filer's first book has won a prestigious Costa book award

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A Bristol mental health nurse and author has won a prestigious book award.

Nathan Filer's debut novel The Shock of the Fall has been named the Costa Book Awards' best first novel.

The awards – formerly known as the Whitbread prize – are one of the UK's most prestigious literary prizes.

Mr Filer's novel, which was published earlier this year tells the story of Matthew's mental health illness and the death of his brother Simon.

The book, which is set in Bristol, draws on the author's experiences as a mental health nurse in the city.

As well as winning £5,000, Mr Filer can now expect his book sales to soar across the country.

"When you write a novel you want people to read it and getting on a prize list is a way to make it more visible to people," he said.

"I think it has been well-received and I have had people get in touch with me who have mental illness or who care for people who have and feel it has resonated with them in some way. That's really nice.

"And it is nice to get a little it of critical recognition."

The five section winners will now compete for the 2013 Costa Book of the Year are.

That puts Mr Filer up against the likes of Kate Atkinson, for her eighth novel, Life After Life, biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallett, fresh from winning the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, for The Pike, an account of the life of Gabriele D'Annunzio, poet Michael Symmons Roberts and cartoonist Chris Riddell.

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