The Blade Artist, which saw Edinburgh author Welsh revive Trainspotting hardman Francies Begbie, will be up against Glasgow writer Kelman’s ninth novel, which charts a father and son’s road trip through the United States, are among the leading condenders in the 2016 Saltire Literary Awards.
Both are in the running for coveted best Scottish fiction book at next month’s awards, along with Ayrshire crime writer Graeme Macrae Burnet, who is already shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize with his second novel, His Bloody Project.
Also in contention in the same category are Edinburgh-based O’Farrell‘s love story This Must Be The Place, Lewis author Kevin MacNeil’s The Brilliant and Forever, which charts the efforts of three friends to win their island’s literary prize, and The Sunlight Pilgrims, which charts a remote Highland community’s efforts to cope with freak winter weather.
Shortlist candidates for six different categories have been unveiled, with each winner being announced on 24 November also being considered for the overall Saltire Scottish Book of the Year title.
In the running for the best first book prize are former Scotsman journalist Chitra Ramaswamy’s account of her pregnancy, lawyer Isabel Buchanan’s book recalling her time working on death-row cases in Pakistan and the first collection from Borders poet Claire Askew.
Non-fiction contenders include Orcadian writer Amy Liptrot’s account of her return home from London to try to beat drink and drug addictions, and James Craword’s study of 20 the world’s “great lost buildings.”
A a book charting Islay’s little-known Viking heritage, a study of the 19th century Scottish author James Hogg and an exploration of Scotlands relationship with Arctic whaling are all in contention for best research book.
William McIlvanney, Janice Galloway, Kate Atkinson, Sorley MacLean and George Mackay Brown are among the previous winners of the book of the year honour.
Saltire Society executive director Jim Tough said: “Spanning academia, poetry, biography and prose, the sheer scale and variety of writing talent to be seen in the shortlists is remarkable. As always, excellence is evident across all awards and I know the judges will have their work cut out.”
2016 Saltire Literary Awards shortlists
Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year Award
Jenni Fagan, The Sunlight Pilgrims
James Kelman, Dirt Road
Kevin MacNeil, The Brilliant & Forever
Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project
Maggie O’Farrel, This Must Be the Place
Irvine Welsh, The Blade Artist
Saltire Society Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award
James Crawford, Fallen Glory
Richard Holloway, A Little History of Religion
John Kay, Other People’s Money
Amy Liptrot, The Outrun
John Moore, Glasgow: Mapping the City
Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award
Alan Macniven, The Vikings in Islay
Meiko O’ Halloran
Chesley W. Sanger, Scottish Arctic Whaling
David Taylor, The Wild Black Region
Sebastiaan Verweij, The Literary Culture of Early Modern Scotland
Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the year Award
Robin Noble, Castles in the Mist
Kinda K Riddell, Shetland and the Great War
Mike Shepherd, Oil Strike North Sea
Angela Gannon and George Geddes, St Kilda: The Last and Outmost Isle
James Hunter, Set Adrift Upon the World
Bob Editor Harris, A Tale of Three Cities: The Life and Times of Lord Daer
Saltire Society Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award
Kathleen Jamie, The Bonniest Comparie
John Glenday, The Golden Mean
Don Paterson, 40 Sonnets
Pàdraig MacAoidh / Peter Mackay, Gu Leòr / Galore
J.O. Morgan, Interference Pattern
Vicki Husband, This Far Back Everything Shimmers
Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award
Claire Askew, This Changes Things
Isabel Buchanan, Trials
Chitra Ramaswamy, Expecting
Martin MacInnes, Infinite Ground
Saltire Publisher of the Year Award
Black and White Publishing
National Galleries of Scotland
Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award
Keara Donnachie, Publicity Officer, (Sandstone Press Limited).
Laura Waddell, Marketing Manager, (Freight Books).
Robbie Guillory, Assistant Publisher, (Freight Books).
Leah McDowell, Design and Production Manager, (Floris Books).
Sha Nazir, Publisher / Art Director, (BHP Comics).