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scottish mortgage investment trust book awards

2009 overall winner | 2009 category winners | 2009 judges

Kieron Smith, boy is declared 2009 Scottish Book of the Year

James Kelman

Acclaimed writer James Kelman has won Book of the Year 2009 in the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards for his novel Kieron Smith, boy.  Managed by the Scottish Arts Council the awards are Scotland’s richest book awards and net the author a total prize of £30,000.

Kelman was presented with his £30,000 cheque by Sir Donald MacKay, Chairman of Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust at a prestigious ceremony at Borders Book Festival in Melrose on Friday 19 June, hosted by writer and comedian Rory Bremner.

Kelman’s novel, Kieron Smith, boy, 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, described as a ‘masterpiece’  by the judging panel, initially won in the fiction category and saw off strong competition from fellow category winners Janice Galloway (Non Fiction), Tom Pow (Poetry) and First Book winner Andrea McNicoll  who were each presented with a cheque for £5000 at the ceremony.

Cover of Kieron Smith, boy by James Kelman

Kelman’s work was described as: ‘A stunning and moving achievement’ by awards judge Pat Kane, who continued, ‘The social convulsions of post-war Glasgow (are) refracted through the resilient, inventive, tireless consciousness of a scheme boy”. Fellow judge Lilias Fraser added: ‘Kieron Smith’s devastating story, and the art of its telling, are truly the performance of a lifetime.’

In all over 100 titles by Scottish or Scotland- based authors were reviewed by the judging panel.  This was whittled down to 20 shortlisted titles across the four categories and finally four category winners.  A process which was described by judge and Professor of Scottish Literature Alan Riach as: ‘an increasingly intense series of mind-blasting, intricately sensitive and robust conversations about the things only literature, great writing, can do.’

The renamed Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards are the next evolution of the Scottish Arts Council Book Awards which were first introduced in the 1970s. The generous sponsorship by Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust represents a long term sponsorship commitment and celebrates the Trust’s Centenary year in 2009.

About our Sponsor

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust is one of the oldest and largest investment trusts listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company has been managed by Scotland’s leading independent fund manager Baillie Gifford since its launch in 1909. It started life providing mortgages to the owners of rubber plantations in Malaya seeking to profit from the advent of the mass produced motor car. Today Scottish Mortgage invests on a global basis and looks to reward its investors by searching out strong companies which offer above average returns to their shareholders. As at 31/12/08 Scottish Mortgage had total assets of £1475m.

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