Annal: 2003 Whitbread Book Award for Novel

Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 2003.

Book:The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: A Novel

Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn…[more]

Book:Frankie & Stankie

Frankie & Stankie

Barbara Trapido



Shena Mackay

The Nautilus, a strange building shaped like the chambered shell of the same name, was built in South London in the early 1930s. Designed on Modernist and Utopian principles, it was a haven for a floating community of cosmopolitan refugees, intellectuals and artists. Now, at the end of the century, only two of the original inhabitants still occupy their chambers—Celeste Zylberstein, joint architect with her late husband of the Nautilus, and Francis Campion, an elderly poet. Gus Crabb, a dealer in bric-a-brac, is the only other resident until, to the Nautilus, like a hermit crab seeking a home, comes Rowena Snow. Of Indian/Scottish parentage, orphaned, without family or friends, Rowena is in search of her own Utopia—or the Heligoland of her childhood imagination.

Book:The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones: A Novel

Rachel Cusk

The Lucky Ones is a novel about creating and sustaining life during times of great transformation. The five people whose lives converge here are also haunted by family—the longing for love, the struggle to connect. 

A young pregnant mother wrestles with utterly changed circumstances; a new father searches for a sign of the man he used to be; a daughter yearns for a lost childhood; and a mother reaches out in bewilderment to a child she can’t fully understand. Accidental connections and overlapping relationships build a complex family portrait: all are linked by the elemental impact of children on adult lives.

This profound evocation of family and its magnetic bonds reveals the mysterious forces that separate us from those we love and bind us to what we no longer understand. …[more]

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