Entertainment Books Clive James up for Costa Book Award
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Clive James up for Costa Book Award

Clive James
Pan Macmillan
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Writer and TV presenter Clive James is in the running to win a STG30,000 ($A53,000) literary prize for his translation of Italian poet Dante.

The Australian star, who has struggled with ill health in the last few years, is best known for his hit show Clive James On Television and has had a long career as a prominent literary critic and journalist.

His show ran for years and his wry commentary on programmes, such as Japanese game show Endurance, made him a household name.

His book, a translation of epic poem The Divine Comedy, was described by Costa Book Awards judges as “a towering achievement that will stand the test of time”.

The Costa awards, open to UK-based writers, are divided into five categories: first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children’s book.

The winners of each category pick up STG5000 with an overall winner getting STG30,000 at a ceremony in central London on Tuesday January 28.

Last year’s overall Costa prize went to novelist Hilary Mantel for Bring Up The Bodies.