Michel Faber wins Saltire Book of the Year award

image copyrightGraham Clark

Dutch-born author Michel Faber has been named as the winner of this year's Saltire Book of the Year award.

The writer, who has been based in Scotland since 1993, won the prize for The Book of Strange New Things.

The novel tells the story of a Christian pastor sent to a colonised planet to carry out missionary work among aliens.

Faber previously won the Saltire First Book of the Year award in 2000 for his debut novel Under The Skin.

That book was adapted into a critically-acclaimed feature film in 2013, directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson.

His 2002 novel The Crimson Petal and the White was dramatised as a four-part BBC television series in 2011, starring Romola Garai and Richard E Grant.

'Welcome alien'

Commenting on his win, Faber said: "When I emigrated from Australia to a remote part of Scotland in 1993, I never expected that it would be the beginning rather than the end of my literary career.

"I'm so moved and grateful that this honour has been bestowed on my work. You've made an alien feel very welcome."

The Saltire Society Literary Awards celebrate "literary and academic excellence" across seven categories, with the winners of individual book categories going forward to be considered for the Saltire Book of the Year award.

The Book of Strange New Things has also won the 2015 Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year, beating competition from a shortlist that included the latest works from Irvine Welsh, Kate Atkinson and Gaelic language writer Norma Nicleoid.

The winners in other categories were:

  • Scottish Research Book of the Year - Clubbing Together: Ethnicity, Civility and Formal Sociability in the Scottish Diaspora to 1930 by Dr Tanja Bueltmann
  • Scottish History Book of the Year - A Chasm in Time: Scottish War Art and Artists in the Twentieth Century by Dr Patricia R. Andrew
  • Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award - The Good Dark by Ryan Van Winkle
  • Scottish First Book of the Year Award - On the Edges of Vision by Helen McClory
  • Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award - Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis
  • The Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award - Freight Books

Faber collected both awards and a cash prize of £8,000 at a ceremony at the Central Hall in Edinburgh on Thursday.

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