James Tait Black Prizes announced

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Novelist Padgett Powell and biographer Fiona MacCarthy have joined the roll call of celebrated writers to win the James Tait Black Prizes, Britain’s oldest literary awards.

The winners of the £10,000 prizes – awarded annually by the English Literature department at Edinburgh University – were revealed by TV’s Sally Magnusson at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

American writer Powell won the fiction prize for his book You and I, while MacCarthy picked up the biography prize for her book on the British artist and designer Edward Burne-Jones, The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination.

Judge Professor Jonathan Wild, from the university, said: “The James Tait Black Prizes have a very long history of celebrating the work of great novelists and biographers. The quality of works we considered this year was top notch.”