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Thursday, 30 January 2014


 Congratulations to Nathan Filer, the surprise winner of this year's  Costa Book of the Year Award, who is surely a wonderful incentive to anyone who has a  half-written novel hidden away in the attic.

The Shock of the Fall was Nathan's first novel and, according to the judges 'It's so good it will make you feel a better person..'

Speaking to Kira Cochrane in today's Guardian, Filer is 'surprised himself by his win – the bookies had put him fourth in a field of five – and ambivalent about being interviewed. 'Obviously this is brilliant,' he adds, 'but it is also quite unsettling and huge, isn't it? People focusing on the book I'm very happy with, because I'm very proud of it and I think it's good. I'm slightly less comfortable with people focusing on ...(sic) me."

The more you read about this newly successful author, the more you realise that he is very grounded.

 A mental health nurse by day, Nathan has used his work as the basis of his research for the novel whose protagonist, Matthew  Home has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Other issues include the death of Matthew's Down's Syndrome brother and his mother's subsequent devastation at the tragedy, all told with a characteristically dark humour.

'He's clearly still passionate about mental health,' says The Guardian, 'even though his success as a writer is such that he could have left all these concerns behind. When he finally finished The Shock of the Fall, it was subject to an 11-way auction and was sold for a six-figure sum. It is being published in more than 10 countries this year, a tally likely to rise after this win.'

Pretty impressive, even for an established author. On his twitter page profile,  I notice Nathan has written 'Once wrote a very powerful tweet - planning another!'

What still remains to be seen is whether, or even if, he will  write another book.


Another Guernseyman said...

Maybe The Shock of the Fall should be renamed The Shock of it All?

Guernsey Girl said...

It's the sort of shock every author would welcome! But something tells me that this guy really deserves his success.

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, I’ve just finished it – wonderful book, harrowing but uplifting all at the same time. I saw an interview with Nathan Filer on TV and immediately bought the book – it just shows the power of advertising.

Guernsey Girl said...

I agree about the power of advertising - I bought it, too, after reading the interview and it's on my reading list. Great to hear from you.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Wow. An auction for his book,now that is something I have not heard of before and it is very interesting.
I think it takes VERY special people to work in health care of any kind but especially mental health.

Guernsey Girl said...

I agree with you, Francie. I still think mental health issues are totally misunderstood. If we break a leg we have sympathy. If we have a breakdown we have apathy...