Welsh and Kelman shortlisted for Saltire literary prize

Irvine Welsh and James Kelman
Image caption Irvine Welsh and James Kelman have been shortlisted for the Saltire literary prize

Irvine Welsh and James Kelman are among the famous names in the running for this year's Saltire Literary Awards.

Welsh's The Blade Artist, featuring the return of Trainspotting character Begbie, has been shortlisted for the Fiction Book of the Year award.

He is up against Kelman's latest novel Dirt Road, as well as the Man Booker Prize-nominated His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet.

The winner will be announced in Edinburgh on 24 November.

Also shortlisted are The Sunlight Pilgrims by Granta's best young British novelist Jenni Fagan, Kevin MacNeil's The Brilliant & Forever, and This Must Be The Place from best-selling author Maggie O'Farrell.

The Saltire Society organises the awards, which cover poetry, research, non-fiction, history and first-time writers. Winners are given £2,000.

'Excellence is evident'

Kathleen Jamie and Don Paterson are among those shortlisted for the Poetry Book of the Year award, while Orkney author Amy Liptrot's The Outrun and John Kay's Other People's Money are two of the candidates for the non-fiction award.

Those in line for the First Book of the Year award include Scottish lawyer Isabel Buchanan for her biographical account of working on death-row cases in Pakistan, aged 23.

The winning book from each category will go on to compete for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year award and a £6,000 prize, which last year went to Michel Faber for his novel The Book of Strange New Things.

Jim Tough, Saltire Society executive director, said: "Spanning academia, poetry, biography and prose, the sheer scale and variety of writing talent to be seen in the shortlists is remarkable.

"As always, excellence is evident across all awards and I know the judges will have their work cut out to decide upon winners."

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