American writers Kingsolver and Pinckney win James Tait Black Prizes

American writers Barbara Kingsolver and Darryl Pinckney have won the James Tait Black Prizes, Britain’s oldest literary awards. 

The prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published in the previous year. Kingsolver won the £10,000 fiction prize for her book Demon Copperhead, published by Faber. The novel is set in the Appalachian Mountains and tells the story of a family struggling to survive in a changing world. 

Pinckney’s winning work in the biography section is for his memoir Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West Sixty-Seventh Street, Manhattan.

The James Tait Black Prizes have a long history, dating back to 1919. They are unique among major book prizes in that they are judged by scholars and students. Past winners include Nadine Gordimer, Iris Murdoch, and Lawrence Durrell. 

The prizes have gained international recognition for recognizing excellence in biography and fiction.

For more information about the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes, visit the University of Edinburgh’s website.

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