Saturday, May 15, 2010

2009 James Tait Black Memorial Prizes Shortlist

FOUR LITERARY HEAVYWEIGHTS of British fiction and a début novelist are the authors in the running for the £10,000 2009 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction awarded by the University of Edinburgh, Britain’s oldest literary award. There are four Man Booker Prize-winners on the shortlist: Anita Brookner (for Strangers), A.S. Byatt (for The Children’s Book), Kazuo Ishiguro (for Nocturnes) and Hilary Mantel (for Wolf Hall). Début novelist Reif Larsen (for The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet) rounds off the shortlist. Ishiguro’s Nocturnes is the only collection of stories in the shortlist.

The shortlist for the £10,000 2009 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography has a strong focus on the lives of literary figures: John Cheever, William Golding, Muriel Spark and Thomas De Quincey. The five authors competing for the biography prize are: Blake Bailey (for Cheever: A Life), John Carey (for William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies), Martin Stannard (for Muriel Spark: The Biography), Jann Parry (for A Different Drummer: The Life of Kenneth MacMillan) and Robert Morrison (for The English Opium Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey).

The prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and biography published the year before, and the only major British book awards to be judged by scholars and students of literature. The winners of both genres will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 20, 2010.


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