The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes were founded in 1919 by Janet Coutts in memory of her husband, a partner in the publishing house of A. & C. Black Ltd. The prizes recognize literary excellence in biography and fiction. Managed by the University of Edinburgh, shortlists and winners are determined by the Professor of English Literature with assistance from staff and postgraduate students at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
Eligible books are published in the U.K. in English, usually submitted by the publisher, and written by an author who has never won the prize in that category. Each winner receives £10,000.
- The Fiction category had two winners in 1981, 1984 and 1996.
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