Saltire Book of the Year announced

The Saltire Literary Awards – which recognise the best Scottish books of the year across literature, history, research and poetry, as well as debuting authors and accomplishments in publishing – have named Bob Harris and Charles McKean’s The Scottish Town in the Age of Enlightenment 1740-1820 as their overall book of the year. The Saltire Society draws the Scottish Book of the Year winner from the victors in the aforementioned categories – Harris and McKean also won the Research Book of the Year award.

This year’s other winners were: Moontide by Niall Campbell (First Book of the Year); Scottish Gods, Religion in the Modern Scotland 1900-2012 by Steve Bruce (History Book of the Year); How to be Both by Ali Smith (Literary Book of the Year); Bones and Breath by Alexander Hutchison (Poetry Book of the Year); and Sandstone Press (Publisher of the Year). Other prominent nominees across the categories included A L Kennedy, Sally Magnusson, Kirsty Wark, John Burnside and Kei Miller.

Professor Bob Harris said of his win: ‘To win this award in a country with such a rich tradition of writing, making and reading books is a huge honour, and also a wonderful way to mark the major contribution made by my co-author, Charles McKean, to understanding Scotland’s very distinctive urban and architectural history.’

Meanwhile, Jim Tough – executive director of the Saltire Society – said of this year’s awards on the whole: ‘The Saltire Literary Awards have a proud history of celebrating and bringing wider attention to excellence in all literary forms. This year exemplifies that commitment […] The judging panels were deeply impressed by the quality and range of books that made it onto the 2014 shortlist. From poetry and plays to novels and non-fiction, extending the length and breadth of the country and far beyond, this year’s shortlist is a testament to the outstanding calibre of modern Scottish literature in all its varied forms.’

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