Prize fighting

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The response to my Perspective article (14 November) from the spokesman for the Saltire Society completely misses the point I was trying to make about its book awards.

Of course I am fully aware of its specialist book prizes for history and research, having been the recipient of one of them in the past.

My specific criticism was rather the failure of the society to acknowledge history in the selection of its major prize, the Scottish Book of the Year, which has been totally dominated by “creative” writing for many years.

Ironically, the spokesman’s letter actually supports the point. The only example that he can find in his attempt at refutation is a single work of biography which did not make it past the shortlisting stage.

(Prof) Tom Devine

University of Edinburgh