What Belongs to You shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prizes

27 March 2017

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell has been selected as one of the four books on the fiction shortlist for the James Tait Black Prizes.

The James Tait Black Prizes for Fiction and Biography are awarded annually for the best works in each genre published in the previous year. The two awards, each of £10,000, are the only prizes of their kind to be presented by a university and they have acquired an international reputation for recognising excellence in biography and fiction.

The prizes are Britain's oldest literary awards. Founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black, the prizes commemorate her husband's love of good books.

This year, more than 400 books were read by Edinburgh academics and postgraduate students, who nominated books for the shortlist. 

Also on the shortlist:

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker, (Doubleday)
What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (Picador)
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride, (Faber)
The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan, (4th Estate)

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, their relationship growing increasingly intimate and unnerving.

As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he's forced to grapple with his own fraught history: his formative experiences of love, his painful rejection by family and friends, and the difficulty of growing up as a gay man in southern America in the 1990s.  

 
 
 

The winner will be announced on Monday 14 August 2017 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. More information available here.

Listen to an extract from What Belongs to You, read by Garth Greenwell.