Awards: The Whitbread FiveThe winners of the five categories of the Whitbread Awards (the last to be sponsored by Whitbread) were announced January 4, 2005:
Best novel: The Accidental by Ali Smith
First Novel: The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw
Poetry Collection: Cold Calls by Christopher Logue
Biography: Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Colour: 1909-1954 by Hilary Spurling
Children's Book: The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
The five authors each receive £5,000 and compete for the Whitbread Book of the Year, which will be announced at a ceremony in London on January 24.
1/24: The £25,000 Whitbread Book of the Year award has gone to Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling (Knopf, $40, 0679434291), which had won the best biography Whitbread award earlier this month (Shelf Awareness, January 4).
The chair of the judging panel said Spurling "has opened our eyes to great art, and done it in an extraordinary way." For her part, Spurling told the BBC that she was "gobsmacked."
Whitbread, since 1971 the main sponsor of the awards, which are open to residents of the Britain and Ireland, has announced that it will no longer be involved in the awards. A search is on for what next year may be the non-Whitbread.