In a stunning night for Gail Honeyman and her incredible debut, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, the author collected prizes for both Fiction Debut of the Year, and Book of the Year at the 2018 British Book Awards.
In awarding Eleanor Oliphant Book of the Year, the judges described the book as “an engaging and relatable novel…[with] some brilliant characterisation”, “phenomenal… a word-of-mouth hit” and “the book you can pass on to absolutely everyone.”
Earlier that night, the book won Fiction Debut of the Year, facing stiff competition from others, including Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney, and Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims.
The judges of the competition celebrated the combination of both the book’s unique voice, and the amazing work that went in to publishing it. The novel was “absolutely hilarious”, “literary and commercial” and struck an “amazing balance between light and dark”, while the campaign to promote it was “beautifully done”, they said.
Eleanor Oliphant has enjoyed success from very early on: Resse Witherspoon optioned the book within a month of publication, the title went into the Sunday Times Top 10 before Christmas, with nearly 290,000 copies sold across all formats before paperback publication. To date, print book sales through Nielsen’s Total Consumer Market have reached 387,949 copies, it has already won the Costa First Novel Award 2017, and has been No.1 in the UK Official Chart for seven non-consecutive weeks. The Marketing Strategy behind the book was also recognised at the awards, winning Marketing Strategy of the Year in the trade awards, and its publisher – HarperCollins – won Publisher of the Year.
We are delighted with this phenomenal achievement and industry recognition for a unique and hugely special book, and send Gail Honeyman an enormous amount of congratulations!