For the first time ever, the prestigious Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year winner was announced at a public session at this yearâ€™s Book Festival, chaired by Richard Holloway.
There were three contenders for the prize:Kathleen Jamie â€œFindingsâ€, James Meek â€œThe Peopleâ€™s Act of Loveâ€ and Ali Smith â€œThe Accidentalâ€.
Each of the contenders received a Â£2,000 cheque, but the outright winner was James Meek.
James Meek was born in London in 1962, grew up in Dundee and now lives in London again. He has published two novels, Mcfarlane Boils The Sea and Drivetime, and two collections of short stories, Last Orders and, most recently, The Museum Of Doubt. He contributed to the acclaimed Rebel Inc anthologies The Children Of Albion Rovers and The Rovers Return.
James also writes for the Guardian, and contributes to the London Review of Books and Granta.
In 2004 his reporting from Iraq and about Guantanamo Bay won a number of British and international awards.
The three judges were:Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, Meaghan Delahunt, a former winner and Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library.
Gavin Wallace has described the winning book, The Peopleâ€™s Act of Love, as â€œa novel of extraordinary ambition and imaginative compass, carving out whole swathes of the trauma that was Russia and Eastern Europe in the early twentieth century.â€
It is hoped that the S.A.C. Book of the Year award ceremony will from now on always be part of the Edinburgh Book Festival.
Published by Canongate
ISBN 1841956546 Â£12.99.
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