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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsAnd the winner of the 2017 James Tait Black Prize for Biography is - Laura Cumming for The Vanishing Man. [APPLAUSE] I'm really elated. It is, I think, the most literary prize. And biography, of course, comes in many, many forms. But mine, I suppose, I hope, is in the writing very particularly. So I feel really keenly honoured by this award. I'm so grateful. I have to say, to be this year's winner is a huge surprise for me and an absolute pleasure. I thought it was an incredible shortlist, really strong, very literary. I loved the writing. It's very beautiful. And so to be chosen as the winner is just a huge honour for me.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsI think the James Tait Black, obviously, has a hugely illustrious history. And I think every writer longs to win it because of that, to be part of that incredible backlist. It makes it like no other prize, to be honest. Eimear McBride and I have never met. But as soon as we discovered that we were two women on the winning list of the prize, we absolutely threw our arms around each other. Because I think it's quite unusual, that with this prize, what is so remarkable about it is that it is an entire faculty of a department of a university. I mean, there's nothing like that really.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsAnd so I guess we feel particularly thrilled to be two women who have been chosen by all those scholars and thinkers. This was a brilliant shortlist. I thank them for bringing us such joy through the written word. [APPLAUSE]

Awards Ceremony highlights

The winner will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14th August 2017.

We’ll be recording the event, and we will upload a short video to this step by 18th August. So come back here for an interview with the winning author. Once the video is ready we will update this page and send you an email.

Watch the hashtag #FLNovel - or #JamesTaitBlack - for updates!

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How to Read a Novel

The University of Edinburgh

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