New writer wins oldest book prize

Tatjani Soli
Image caption Tatjani Soli won the prize for her debut novel The Lotus Eaters

Debut novelist Tatjani Soli has been announced as the winner of Britain's oldest book prize.

The James Tait Black Memorial awards are given to one work of fiction and one work of biography each year.

Theatre critic Hilary Spurling claimed the biography prize for her book Burying the Bones: Pearl Buck in China.

American author Tatjani Soli won the fiction prize for her first novel The Lotus Eaters, which is set in the final days of the Vietnam War.

Previous winners include Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy and A S Byatt.

The winners of the prizes - awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh - were announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

They are the only major British book awards judged by scholars and students of literature.

Also shortlisted for the £10,000 fiction prize this year were debut novelists Julie Orringer and Michael Nath, and acclaimed writer David Mitchell.

The biography shortlist included studies of Henry Ford by Greg Grandin, of EM Forster by Wendy Moffat and an autobiography by renowned Scottish author Alisdair Gray.

The James Tait Black Prizes were founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black, to commemorate her husband's love of books.