A POPULAR author has picked up a major book prize for her novel set in wartime Britain.

Kate Atkinson, from York, has been awarded the Costa novel award for her eighth book Life After Life, and is in the running for the book of the year award which will be announced later this month.

Ms Atkinson, whose Case Histories detective tale was adapted into a TV series starring Jason Isaacs, also wrote Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which was named overall winner of the Costa awards and won book of the year 20 years ago.

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The Costa awards are divided into five categories and the winners of each are eligible for the book of the year award. 

If Ms Atkinson wins book of the year again, she will become the first female author to do so twice and only the third writer to achieve it, the others being Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.

The winners of each category also receive £5,000 and the overall winner gets a further £30,000.