Alumni Services

Best of James Tait Black - Have Your Say!

This December, six authors are in the running for the Prize of the Best of James Tait Black and we want alumni to vote for their favourite.

James Tait Black Prizes logo

Created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of English literature study at the University of Edinburgh, the Best of the James Tait Black Prize will honour the best loved novel to have won the award since it was created in 1919.

All comments will be passed on to the judging panel, which includes some well-known literary alumni, such as broadcaster Kirsty Wark, and professors from the University’s English Literature department. The winner will be announced at an event in London on the 6th December.


The six books competing for the prize are:

  • Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter
  • The Heart Of The Matter by Graham Greene
  • A Disaffection by James Kelman
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Crossing The River by Caryl Phillips
  • The Mandlebaum Gate by Muriel Spark

To have your say, email us by Friday 23rd November with the name of the book you think should win and the reason why.

All alumni of the University of Edinburgh are eligable to vote. Please include your degree and year of graduation along with your vote.


About the prizes

The James Tait Black Prizes were founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black, to commemorate her deceased husband’s love of reading. They are the only major British book awards judged by scholars and postgraduate literature students.

Each year, more than 300 books are read by professors of literature and postgraduate readers prior to the conferment of the prizes.

The annual awards are for the best work of fiction and the best biography published during the previous 12 months.