Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Awards- James Tait Black Memorial Prizes

"The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are Scotland's most prestigious and the U.K.'s oldest literary awards. The prizes have achieved an international reputation for their recognition of literary excellence in biography and fiction.

Awarded since 1919, previous Fiction prizewinners include D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, Graham Greene, George Mackay Brown, James Kelman and William Boyd. Among past recipients of the Biography prize are Lytton Strachey , John Buchan, Lady Antonia Fraser, and Quentin Bell.

The two prizes, each of £10,000, are awarded annually."

This year's winners were announced this past weekend:

Biography category:

William Golding: the man who wrote Lord of the Flies, by John Carey.

"...Carey's biography soars, presenting a nuanced and sensitive portrait of the small-town schoolteacher with a proclivity for Greek mythology and abiding class issues, the wartime ship's captain perennially drawn to the power of the sea, and the extraordinarily talented (if often blocked) writer who used fiction to plumb the murky depths of his subconscious...Likely to lead Lord of the Flies fans to Golding's other works, this book is highly recommended." —Booklist

Fiction category:

The Children's Book, by A.S. Byatt.

This book made me thirsty: Whenever I put it down, it nagged me to pick it up again…. Monumental, pure, beautiful…. After more than 40 years of writing, Byatt can still breathe magical life into historical fiction, giving her abiding interests new relevance with each work.
— The Globe and Mail

See also Maureen's review from last summer.
Also for your consideration, the prize winners from 2009:

A Strange and Eventful History: the dramatic lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their remarkable families,
by Michale Holroyd

The Secret Scripture: a novel,
by Sebastian Barry

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