American reworking of Dickens classic wins world’s oldest literary prize

An American creator has mentioned it was a “bit shocking” for her to win the world’s oldest literary prize with a novel which reworks a Charles Dickens classic.

Barbara Kingsolver was named as one of the 2 winners of the James Tait Black Prize, taking the honours within the fiction part for her ebook Demon Copperhead.

She mentioned the award was “such a touching tribute” to the novel, which is a reimagining of David Copperfield set within the Appalachian Mountains of the US within the late Nineties.

Kingsolver mentioned: “It feels a bit shocking for the very outdated and distinguished James Tait Black Prize to acknowledge the trendy, working-class Appalachian voice of my novel.

“However literature, in any case, is supposed for all readers, in every single place throughout all of time. I’m deeply honoured by this award.”

Fellow American Darryl Pinckney was declared the winner within the biography part for his memoir Come Again in September: A Literary Schooling on West Sixty-Seventh Road, Manhattan.

The ebook tells the story of the New York author’s apprenticeship with authors Elizabeth Hardwick and Barbara Epstein, and his introduction to the town’s well-known literary scene.

The literary honours, which each include a £10,000 prize, have been introduced by the College of Edinburgh since 1919 and are the one main British ebook prizes that are judged by literature students and college students.

Biography decide Dr Simon Cooke, of the College of Edinburgh, described Pinckney’s successful ebook as “completely absorbing”, including it was a “vivid, nuanced, and transferring tribute to Elizabeth Hardwick, an interesting portrait of a spot, time and milieu, and a profound meditation on reminiscence, friendship and the literary life”.

Fiction decide Dr Benjamin Bateman, additionally of Edinburgh College, mentioned Demon Copperhead was “a charming piece of realist literature which is outstanding throughout all of the scale we search for”.

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