Janice Galloway wins Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award

It was announced last night at the Edinburgh International Book Festival that the winner of the 2012 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award is Janice Galloway for her memoir All Made Up. 

The Award, run in partnership with Creative Scotland, recognises and rewards the literary talent of an author from, or resident in, Scotland or those whose books are of particular Scottish interest. The ceremony, which took place at the Book Festival, was hosted by broadcaster and avid book fan, Dame Jenni Murray.

All Made Up won in the face of stiff competition from the Fiction, Poetry, and First Book category winners – Ali Smith, Angus Peter Campbell and Simon Stephenson respectively – and Galloway will receive a total prize of £30,000.

All Made Up is a personal and eloquent account of Galloway’s struggle to make sense of the physical and emotional changes of adolescence. In this, the second volume of Galloway’s memoirs, the prize-winning author reveals how the awkward child introduced in This is Not About Me evolved through her teenage years, living with her stoical mother and domineering older sister.

Janice Galloway’s first novel, The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989), is now widely regarded as a Scottish contemporary classic. She has since penned three novels, three short story collections, one volume of poetry, and two autobiographies. On winning the award Janice Galloway, said: ‘I am very grateful indeed that the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust are keeping the faith in writing and writers in these extremely testing times for the arts. The judges have chosen a shortlist to be proud of.’

Dr Gavin Wallace, Chair of the Judging Panel and Portfolio Manager for Literature, Publishing and Language, said: ‘This is Not About Me is a startling, shocking, and searing book, written with razor-sharp brilliance and immediacy and plangent poetic lyricism.  It is an unforgettably vivid evocation of a very particular time and place – urban Ayrshire in the 1960s and 70s – but it is also universal in its deeply moving anatomy of the nourishing and survival of the artist through an enlightened education, in the midst of social and familial forces which seem to conspire against creativity and imagination at every turn.’

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, said: ‘From poets to storytellers, screenwriters and playwrights, Scotland is rich in literary talent. The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award celebrates and rewards one of our best writers, a great way to shine a spotlight in this the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.’

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: "The Scottish Book Awards have been celebrating Scotland's exceptional writing talent and spotlighting the very best of our excellent literary works for 40 years. Each year the shortlist has captured the incredible quality and scope of literature produced in Scotland, and 2012 - The Year of Creative Scotland - has been no exception. Janice Galloway is an excellent, talented writer whose book, All Made Up, is a searing powerful capture of teenage life in Ayrshire in the 70's, written with great memory and attention to detail. For anyone who lived in the time it provides instant flashback.
"Janice and all of the finalists can be proud of the unique and valuable contribution they are making to Scotland's rich and vibrant culture."

For a fifth year, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust is proud sponsor of the Awards, which have been running since 1970. John Scott, Chairman of Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, said:  “The quality of the short list shows the depth of talent that exists in all categories of Scottish writing. Given the calibre and diversity of the entries, it must have been hard for the judges to select the category winners, to say nothing of the task of choosing the overall winner. Scottish Mortgage is again very pleased to be supporting the Scottish Book Awards and congratulates all those involved.”

Previous winners of the prestigious Award include renowned and acclaimed authors such as Jackie Kay for her autobiography Red Dust Road in 2011; Donald Worster for his biography A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir in 2010; James Kelman for his novel Kieron Smith, boy in 2009; and Edwin Morgan for his poetry collection A Book of Lives in 2008.

The Category winners each receiving £5,000 are:

  • Fiction winner - Ali Smith for There but for the (Hamish Hamilton);
  • Poetry winner - Angus Peter Campbell for Aibisidh (Birlinn);
  • First Book winner - Simon Stephenson for Let Not the Waves of the Sea (John Murray).  
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