James Tait Black Prize for Warner and Harrod

Novelist Alan Warner. Picture: Jayne Wright
Novelist Alan Warner. Picture: Jayne Wright
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THE authors of a novel inspired by a seaport in the Highlands and a biography of a renowned potter have won Britain’s oldest literary awards.

Novelist Alan Warner and art historian Tanya Harrod have joined the roll call of celebrated writers to win the James Tait Black Prizes.

The winners of the £10,000 prizes, awarded annually by the English Literature department at the University of Edinburgh, were announced by broadcaster Sally Magnusson at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last night.

Oban-born author Alan Warner, who already has a string of prestigious prizes to his name, won the fiction prize for his book The Deadman’s Pedal.

Warner, whose first novel, Morvern Callar, was later adapted into a film starring Samantha Morton, set his adventure in the early 1970s in the Scottish Highlands.

Prize-winning writer Tanya Harrod, co-editor of the Journal of Modern Craft, won the biography prize for her book on the late British studio potter Michael Cardew.

The book, The Last Sane Man: Michael Cardew, Modern Pots, Colonialism and the Counterculture, tells his remarkable story.

Two prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for books published during the previous year – one for the best work of fiction and the other for the best biography.

Previous winners include DH Lawrence, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley and Ian McEwan.