Manchester author shortlisted for Costa Book Awards

Judges described The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest as "narrative non-fiction at its very best"

20 authors have been announced across five categories for the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland, which marks its 50th anniversary this year.

2021 shortlists for the Costa Book Awards 2021 feature eight debuts, two previously shortlisted authors, one all-female category shortlist and authors who range in age from 27-68.

This year, Manchester based Ed Caesar has been shortlisted for the Costa biography award for The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest.

The book reveals the previously untold story of Britain’s most mysterious mountaineering legend – WWI veteran Maurice Wilson – who in the 1930s conceived his own crazy, beautiful plan: to fly an aeroplane from England to Everest, crash land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit. Alone.

Ed, who is 41 years old, lives in Manchester and writes for the New Yorker.

He has won 11 major journalism awards – including a British Press Award, PPA Writer of the Year and the 2014 Foreign Press Award for Journalist of the Year.

His subjects have included conflict in central Africa, the world’s longest tennis match, stolen art, money-laundering, and the trade in diamonds.

His first book, Two Hours, won a Cross Sports Book Award in 2016.

Judges described The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest as: “A fast-paced and vivid adventure story about an English eccentric whose mission it is to get to the top of the world.

“Narrative non-fiction at its very best.”

Established in 1971, the Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbread Book Awards) encourage, promote and celebrate some of the most enjoyable and best books published each year.

This year’s Costa Book Awards attracted 934 entries, an increase of over 30% on 2020 and the highest number of entries received in one year to date.

Winners in the five categories of Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book, who each receive £5,000, will be announced on Tuesday 4th January 2022.

The overall winner of the 2021 Costa Book of the Year will receive £30,000 and be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 1st February 2022.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Get the Newsletter
Timeless Reads
Latest News
Upcoming Events