UK’s oldest book awards captivate in 100th year
An appealing mix of books illuminating themes such as gender, identity and race form the shortlist for the centenary awards of Britain’s longest-running literary prizes.
Contenders for the James Tait Black Prizes, include a novel inspired by computing science pioneer Alan Turing and a debut novel about a woman’s journey into motherhood.
The other nominated titles are a novel about personal relationships in the midst of political turmoil, and a collection of short stories exploring black identity in America.
The four novels competing for the £10,000 fiction prize are: Murmur by Will Eaves (CB Editions); Sight by Jessie Greengrass (John Murray); Crudo by Olivia Laing (Picador); and Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Chatto & Windus).
The shortlist for the £10,000 biography prize includes a debut book by award-winning hip-hop artist Akala which explores issues around race and class, and a journey through the experiences of American war correspondent Marie Colvin.
Also in the running is a personal memoir about mourning and the hoarding of possessions and a biography of Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son, Hernando Columbus, who sailed the world to collect books and prints.
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