THE shortlist for the UK’s longest-running literary prizes, based in Scotland, has been announced.

The James Tait Black Prizes, now in its one-hundred-and-fifth year, is the only major British book prize to be judged by literature scholars and students.

The winners of the two prizes – in fiction and biography – will each receive £10,000 and will join a long list of acclaimed authors to have been recognised by the award, including Ian McEwan, Angela Carter, Muriel Spark, Zadie Smith and Graham Greene.

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The shortlists will be reread, annotated and discussed by students and scholars to decide the winners of both prizes, which will be announced by the University of Edinburgh in May.

The James Tait Black Prizes began celebrating books in Edinburgh in 1919 after Janet Tait Black (born Coats) – part of the renowned threadmaking family J & P Coats – made a provision in her will for the creation of two book prizes to be awarded annually in memory of her husband, James Tait Black.

Fiction judge, Dr Benjamin Bateman, said the shortlist reflected “strikingly different takes” on “the ambivalence of living in an increasingly interconnected world”.

Meanwhile, biography judge Dr Simon Cooke said the shortlist reflected a “kaleidoscopic gathering of astonishing, formally daring life-writings".

See the full shortlists below.

Fiction prize shortlist

  • Lori and Joe by Amy Arnold
  • Open Throat by Henry Hoke
  • Though the Bodies Fall by Noel O’Regan
  • Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright

Biography prize shortlist

  • This Is Not Miami by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes
  • Traces of Enayat by Iman Mersal, translated by Robin Moger
  • Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors by Ian Penman
  • Ordinary Notes by Christina Sharpe
  • Always Reaching: The Selected Writings of Anne Truitt by Anne Truitt
  • Lifescapes by Anne Wroe