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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 00:14 GMT 01:14 UK
Hornby novel wins public's vote
Author Nick Hornby
Hornby's first three books were turned into films
Nick Hornby's latest novel has been named the nation's favourite work of fiction at the WH Smith Book Awards, the only major UK book prize to be voted for by the public.

Pamela Stephenson and Billy Connolly
Stephenson wrote an honest account of Connolly's upbringing
Nigella Lawson and Pamela Stephenson were among the other winners, while Ian McEwan also picked up a prestigious award.

Hornby's fourth novel How To Be Good was voted the year's best work of fiction at the awards, which are worth a total of 45,000.

Hornby has become one of the best-selling authors in the UK, and his first three books have been turned into feature films.

  Click here to see the list of winners

He beat competition from Ian McEwan, Anita Shreve, Joanne Harris and Wilbur Smith.

Pamela Stephenson's acclaimed biography of her husband, comic Billy Connolly, simply called Billy, came out on top in the category for best biography or autobiography.

Nigella Lawson took the leisure title from Jamie Oliver
Nigella Lawson took the leisure title from Jamie Oliver
The book also recently won the Book Of The Year award, and gives an honest account of her husband's life, including the fact that he was sexually abused by his father.

It was preferred to works by the former Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd, and Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson, among others.

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites was the winner in the home and leisure section, taking over from Jamie Oliver, last year's winner.

Although Ian McEwan's Atonement was not victorious in the public vote, it was given the literary prize by a panel headed by John Carey.

The literary prize has been in running for 44 years and runs in parallel to the public poll.

New talent

Others to top the votes in their categories included Judi Bevan for her business account of the fortunes of Marks and Spencer, and Eoin Colfer for children's book Artemis Fowl.

Emily Barr was named the best new talent, while the team behind the book to accompany TV show The Blue Planet triumphed in the general knowledge category.

Votes were taken via the internet and by post, as well as at WH Smith shops.

In 2001 more than 65,000 voters took part in choosing the award winners.

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The WH Smith Awards winners

Fiction

How to be Good: Nick Hornby

Also nominated
Atonement: Ian McEwan
Five Quarters of the Orange: Joanne Harris
Warlock: Wilbur Smith
The Last Time They Met: Anita Shreve

Literary prize

Atonement: Ian McEwan

Also nominated
Sheepshagger: Niall Griffiths
The Fire Fighter: Francis Cottam
Death in Holy Orders: PD James
Austerlitz: WG Sebald

New talent

Backpack: Emily Barr

Also nominated
The Eyre Affair: Jasper Fforde
Kissing in Manhattan: David Schickler
The Death of Vishnu: Manil Suri
The Mind Game: Hector MacDonald

Biography/autobiography

Billy: Pamela Stephenson

Also nominated
Betty Boothroyd: The Autobiography
Madonna: J Randy Taraborrelli
Give Me Ten Seconds: John Sergeant
Memoirs of an Unfit Mother: Anne Robinson

Children

Artemis Fowl: Eoin Colfer

Also nominated
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents: Terry Pratchett
Dustbin Baby: Jacqueline Wilson
Out of the Ashes: Michael Morpurgo
Stargirl: Jerry Spinelli

Home and leisure

Nigella Bites: Nigella Lawson

Also nominated
Moro: The Cookbook: Sam & Sam Clark
Happy Days with the Naked Chef: Jamie Oliver
Rick Stein's Seafood: Rick Stein
Colour for Adventurous Gardeners: Christopher Lloyd

General knowledge

The Blue Planet: Alastair Fothergill, Martha Holmes, and Andrew Byatt

Also nominated
The Floating Brothel: Sin Rees
In Harm's Way: Doug Stanton
Animal: David Burnie (editor)
The Earth from the Air 365 Days: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Travel writing

The Weekenders: Various authors

Also nominated
Are You Dave Gorman? Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace
French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France: Tim Moore
Extra Virgin: Annie Hawes
Manana Manana: Peter Kerr

Business

The Rise and Fall of Marks & Spencer: Judi Bevan

Also nominated
Simply Brilliant: Fergus O'Connell
Jack: What I've Learned Leading a Great Company and Great People: Jack Welch and John A Byrne
Boo Hoo: A Dot.com Story from Concept to Catastrophe: Ernst Malmsten, Erik Portanger and Charles Drazin
Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer: Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell

See also:

01 Jun 01 | Reviews
Too much of a Good thing
01 Jun 01 | Reviews
How To Be Good: Press reviews
01 Jun 01 | Reviews
How To Be Good: Your views
21 Jan 02 | Arts
McEwan back on awards trail
02 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Bainbridge wins book award
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