Tuesday, May 18, 2010

James Tait Black Memorial shortlist announced
Four literary heavyweights and a debut novelist are some of the authors in the running for Britain’s oldest literary award.Man Booker prize winners A.S Byatt, Anita Brookner, Kazuo Ishiguro (pic left by David Levene) and Hilary Mantel are on the shortlist for the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes awarded by the University of Edinburgh, along with newcomer Reif Larsen.

The authors are contenders for the £10,000 fiction prize in the only major British book awards to be judged by scholars and students of literature.

Literary figures
The shortlist for the biography prize has a strong focus on the lives of authors with four fascinating accounts of leading literary figures - John Cheever, William Golding, Muriel Spark, and Thomas De Quincey. Both Muriel Spark and William Golding are previous winners of the awards.
There is also a detailed account of the life of British ballet dancer and choreographer Kenneth MacMillan.

Annual award
The prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published during the previous year.

The five shortlisted works for the fiction prize are:

Strangers by Anita Brookner
The Children’s Book by A.S Byatt
Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Selected Works of T.S Spivet by Reif Larsen
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The five books competing for the £10,000 biography prize are:
Cheever: A life by Blake Bailey
William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies by John Carey
Muriel Spark: The Biography by Martin Stannard
A Different Drummer: The Life of Kenneth MacMillan by Jann Parry
The English Opium Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey by Robert Morrison

The winners will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.

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