Scotland

Book prize announced at festival

Laura Cumming
Image caption Scottish writer Laura Cumming will share the main prize

An Irish writer and a Scot have been named as the joint winners of one of the world's oldest literary prizes.

The James Tait Black Prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh.

The main £10,000 prize was announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It will be shared by Eimear McBride and Laura Cumming.

Ms Cumming's winning book, The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit Of Velazquez, is her first biography.

It concerns the Spanish court painter Diego Velazquez and a Victorian bookseller who thought he had found one of his lost paintings.

Biography judge Dr Jonathan Wild, of the University of Edinburgh, said of the winning entry: "The Vanishing Man is a real gem of a book which fully deserves its place among the winners of this prize."

Ms McBride took the fiction prize with her second novel The Lesser Bohemians.

It tells the story of a love affair between a drama student and an older actor.

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