Morn, with bonny purple smiles Kisses the air-cock o' St Giles; Rakin' their ee, the servant lasses Early begin their lies and clashes...

Robert Fergusson

Top book award looking for best of the best

Date Posted:

(26 October 2012)

The long-running James Tait Black Prize is this year searching for the pinnacle of perfection, having announced a Best of the Best competition that will honour the best novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded in 1919.

A shortlist of six well-loved books has been chosen, with Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene, A Disaffection by James Kelman, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips and The Mandlebaum Gate by Muriel Spark battling for the accolade.

The award will be made as part of the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of English literature study at the University and the shortlist was selected by some of its scholars and students.

Founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black, to commemorate her deceased husband’s love of reading, the James Tait Memorial Prize is Britain’s oldest literary award and the Best of the Best award offers a great opportunity to revisit some of the delights in the canon.

A distinguished judging panel including broadcaster Kirsty Wark and award-winning author and writer in residence at the University, Alan Warner, will reveal the winner in December.