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 for 2017 was announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14th August 2017.

In this step, you’ll find a short video and an interview with the winning author.

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How to Read a Novel

The University of Edinburgh

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