Print Edition

Web Edition

Internal » Quoted News »

Kelman picks up Scottish novel of the year award

20 Jun 2009 - 15:48

One of Glasgow's greatest writers, James Kelman, last night won the award for the Scottish book of the year.

IBNA: According to Herald, his latest novel, Kieron Smith, Boy won the book of the year at the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

He wins a total of £30,000.

advertisementKelman said: "There are good writers working in this country and it is an honour to be awarded.

"Like most other artists I'm self-employed. Awards and prizes are generally for work that we have produced. This allows us to develop new projects, produce future work. That is their value and no-one should underestimate how important that can be."

Kelman's novel charts the life of a young boy in post-war Glasgow as his family moves from a traditional tenement to a new housing scheme on the outskirts of the city.

The book, which was described as a "masterpiece" by the judging panel, initially won in the fiction category of the awards.

Pat Kane, one of the award judges, said: "James Kelman's fiction is completely committed to the project of articulating the complex inner voices of the under-voiced and disregarded.

"By this light, Kieron Smith, Boy is his masterpiece: the social convulsions of post-war Glasgow refracted through the resilient, inventive, tireless consciousness of a scheme boy. A stunning and moving achievement."

Fellow judge Lilias Fraser added: "Kieron Smith's devastating story, and the art of its telling, are truly the performance of a lifetime."

More than 100 titles by Scottish or Scotland-based authors were reviewed by the judging panel.

The awards succeed the Scottish Arts Council Book Awards, which were first introduced in the 1970s.

Kelman was born in Glasgow in 1946. His books include Greyhound for Breakfast, A Disaffection, which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and How Late it Was, How Late, which won the 1994 Booker Prize.