Keggie Carew’s remarkable debut Dadland: A Journey Into Unchartered Territory has won the Costa Biography Award 2016. The book was hailed as “hilarious and heartbreaking” by the judges.
Keggie grew up under the spell of an unorthodox, enigmatic father. An undercover guerrilla agent during the Second World War, in peacetime he lived on his wits and dazzling charm. But these were not always enough to sustain a family.
As his memory began to fail, Keggie embarked on a quest to unravel his story once and for all. Dadland is that journey. It takes us into shadowy corners of history, a madcap English childhood, the poignant breakdown of a family, the corridors of dementia and beyond.
Judge Sarra Manning tweeted to say she “knew how special Dadland was as soon as I read the first chapter.”
Keggie Carew said of her success: “It’s a lovely feeling that the book has resonated with other people in such a strong way.”
You can find the full list of winners here.
Previous praise for Dadland:
“OH THIS BOOK. Beautiful and fierce and brave. Memory and war and family and loss and, well, wow” - Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk
“Compelling and moving from start to finish… Carew’s funny, fascinating and unflinching tribute to her father is a portrait of a complex man: not just a war hero but a much-missed dad” - Financial Times
“A beautifully written, funny and tender ode to an adventurous, occasionally frustrating, man who lived life at full tilt” - Good Housekeeping
“A rich and stunning achievement, a feat of imagination that sews together many parallel true stories. Above all it is a labour of shining daughterly love” - Sunday Express