• WEATHER ALERT Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Belben and Hill win literary award

August 22, 2008 5:07:36 PM PDT
Novelist Rosalind Belben and first-time biographer Rosemary Hill have won Britain's oldest literary award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes.

Belben won the fiction prize for "Our Horses in Egypt," which tells the story of a young war widow who travels to the Middle East to retrieve her mare in the aftermath of World War I - and follows the horse itself as it struggles to survive conflict and privation.

Hill took the best biography award for her first book: "God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain," a study of Augustus Pugin, one of Victorian Britain's leading architects.

The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes, announced Friday, are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published during the previous year. Both prizes are worth $18,500.

"Rosalind Belben's novel was innovatively plotted and convincingly executed, while Rosemary Hill's first book is a biography that does justice to the many facets of the man Augustus Pugin and his work," said Colin Nicholson, the awards' manager.

The prizes were founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black, to commemorate her husband's love of reading.

Past winners include D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, Evelyn Waugh, Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene.

Load Comments