Jim Crace, author of eleven novels and two short story collections, has won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his latest book, Harvest. The winners were announced by broadcaster Sally Magnusson at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last weekend.
The prize began in 1919 and is the oldest literary award in the UK. It is noticeably different from many others as the winner of each category – fiction, non-fiction and, since 2013, drama – is chosen by members of the English Literature department at Edinburgh University.
Jim Crace won the fiction category for Harvest, which “presents a spellbinding lyrical reflection upon the nature of cultural inheritance and the obligations and responsibilities of community in a changing and uncertain world. It is a novel fit to be ranked among his very best, which means that it can be considered one of the distinctive achievements of contemporary literature in English,” said Dr Lee Spinks, Chairman of the James Tait Black Prize for fiction.
The winner of the non-fiction category was Hermione Lee for her biography of the great Penelope Fitzgerald.
Both winners receive £10,000. Previous winners include D. H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, Angela Carter and Ian McEwan. Well done, Jim!
Watch the highlights from the ceremony and hear what Jim has to say about winning: