Tayside and Central Scotland

Coming-of-age tale wins 2016 Dundee International Book Prize

Jessica Thummel
Image caption Jessica Thummel's winning novel will be published next year

An American author's coming-of-age story of a trans man in the 1980s has won the Dundee International Book Prize 2016.

Jessica Thummel's unpublished novel The Margins tells the story of Sam Gavin, who moves from Kansas to San Francisco in the summer of 1989.

The Kansas-born novelist, who now lives in Denver, has been awarded £5,000, a publishing deal, and a week's protected writing time in Dundee.

The novel will be published next year.

Ms Thummel said she was "thrilled and honoured" to have won the prize.

She said: "The Margins and its characters have spent the better part of a decade in my mind, so the possibility of them existing in others' is both surreal and exhilarating."

'Stellar year'

The prize was judged by broadcaster Shereen Nanjiani, poet Ian McMillan, critic Hannah McGill and publisher Adrian Searle.

Literary Dundee programme manager Peggy Hughes said: "Jessica Thummel is a worthy winner of the 2016 Dundee International Book Prize.

"This has been a stellar year for the prize, with tough competition from a very fine shortlist."

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said: "Each year the quantity and quality of entrants goes from strength to strength.

"I never envy the judges the difficult task they have of choosing just one winner from such a strong field, but every time they manage to select a deserving book to take the title."

Shadow Jumping by Margaret Ries and London Clay by Amy Spencer were also shortlisted.

The announcement was made at the start of the Dundee Literary Festival.

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