The James Tait Black Prize is the longest running literary prize in the UK and 2019 marks its centenary year. The Prizes have been presented every year since 1919 and the prize has survived two World Wars, evolving technology, and changing reading habits to become one of the UK’s most illustrious literary awards.
The prize was created in 1918 when Janet Tait Black née Coats, part of the renowned threadmaking family J & P Coats, made provision in her will for the creation of two book prizes, to be awarded annually in memory to her husband, James Tait Black.
The 2019 Shortlist consists of eight books, four in the £10,000 fiction prize, and four in the £10,000 biography line up. Here they are: