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Jonathan Coe wins Costa prize for ‘perfect’ Brexit novel

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Middle England’s EU referendum story secures the 2019 novel award and goes up against first fiction, poetry and biography for Costa book of the year

Jonathan Coe’s portrait of a Britain torn apart by the Brexit referendum, Middle England, has won the Costa novel award, described by judges as the perfect fiction for these times.

Moving from 2010 to 2018, Middle England features characters including a married couple divided over the EU vote, and an enthusiastic new member of a group called Students for Corbyn. On Monday night, Coe’s state-of-the-nation novel beat books by Sophie Hardach, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Joseph O’Connor to the £5,000 prize.

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