Olivia Laing Wins James Tait Black 2019 Prize for Fiction

19th August 2019

Olivia Laing has been awarded the James Tait Black Prize for her novel, Crudo, alongside Lindsey Hilsum, who was awarded the non-fiction prize for her biography of Marie Colvin.

The £10,000 prizes, awarded each year by the University of Edinburgh, were announced by broadcaster Sally Magnusson at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Saturday (17th August).

Fiction judge Dr Alex Lawrie, of the University of Edinburgh, said of Crudo: “This is fiction at its finest: a bold and reactive political novel that captures a raw slice of contemporary history with pace, charm, and wit.”

Laing was chosen from a shortlist of Murmur by Will Eaves (Canongate), Sight by Jessie Greengrass (John Murray) and Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Chatto & Windus).

In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin (Chatto and Windus) picked up the biography prize. Hilsum, international editor at Channel 4 News, chronicled Colvin’s extraordinary life and career reporting on some of the world’s most devastating conflicts from 1985 until her 2012 death in Syria.

The books were judged by senior staff from the university’s English Literature department, assisted by a reading panel of Edinburgh postgraduate students.

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