I’d planned to tell you about Saturday by Ian McEwan today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete it in time to review it today. Instead, I thought I’d share with you some information about the award given this book.
Saturday was the 2005 winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. This award ranks up the there with the other well known literary awards such as the Pulitzer, National Book Award, or the Man Booker Prize. It was created in 1919 as a memorial to James Tait Black who was a partner in A & C Black Publishing. The award is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and has become one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary award.
The Black award requires that all books submitted for the prize must be printed in the U.K., in English, within the previous twelve months. There are two categories each year: Fiction and Biography. The award is managed by the English professors at the University of Edinburgh.
Any literary award, even one that is nearly 100 years old, is only as good as it’s award list. The James Tait Black award is proud to claim six of it’s award winners were also Nobel Literary laureates. Some of the names on the list includes D.H. Lawrence, Bruce Chatwin, Graham Greene, E.M. Forester, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie, and, of course, Ian McEwan. The complete list can be found here: The University of Edinburgh
Ian McEwan’s novel, Saturday, is about the life of Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon in London. In beautiful prose, the author examines the doctor’s day in minute detail. There are numerous messages within the story which has kept my brain chugging. I’m hoping to finish the book soon. My next post is two weeks from today. I’ll share my thoughts about Saturday with you then..