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UEA author shortlisted for Costa Book Award

Prof Rebecca Stott has been shortlisted for the prestigious Costa Book Awards. The awards celebrate some of the most outstanding books of the year and Prof Stott’s book, ‘In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, a Cult’, is one of only four books to be shortlisted for the Costa Biography category.

Described by the judges as “a vivid and truly unforgettable family story of life in a cult”, the book is a shocking, deeply personal family memoir. It is a first-hand account from Rebecca and her father of their family’s experience of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult in Brighton in the 1970s.

A novelist, non-fiction writer and broadcaster, Rebecca is professor of literature and creative writing in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

Rebecca Stott writes: “At university when I made new friends and confidantes, I couldn’t explain how I’d become a teenage mother, or shoplifted books for years, or why I was afraid of the dark and had a compulsion to rescue people, without explaining about the Brethren or the God they made for us, and the Rapture they told us was coming. But then I couldn’t really begin to talk about the Brethren without explaining about my father…”

Costa category winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on January 2. There are a total of five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winners chosen as Book of the Year on January 30.

Rebecca teaches on both literature and creative writing modules. She has written a number of critically acclaimed books, both fiction and non-fiction, and works across different disciplines including history, literature and the history of science.