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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Franzen and Uglow win book award
Jonathan Franzen
Franzen refused to let his book enter Oprah Winfrey's Book Club
Authors Jonathan Franzen and Jenny Uglow are the winners of this year's James Tait Black memorial book prize.

The literary award is among the oldest and most prestigious in the English language and honours two writers every year.

Franzen picked up the best fiction award for his novel, The Corrections.

Uglow's real-life tale of the brains behind the industrial revolution, Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future, won her the best biography title.

Both authors will receive 3,000 each in prize money.

Regius Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh University, John Frow, who chaired the panel of judges, said Franzen's novel was, "a tour de force".

The 500-page tome charting the life of a dysfunctional Midwest family received critical acclaim on its release in 2001.


Frow also praised Uglow for her "many-faceted but skilfully held-together group biography."

Uglow will be presented with her award at a lecture and ceremony later this year and Franzen will receive his next year.

The James Tait Black memorial prize was founded in memory of a partner in the publishing house of A & C Black Ltd in 1919.

Previous winners include Salman Rushdie, Graham Greene, EM Forster and DH Lawrence.

Franzen had a much-publicised spat with Oprah Winfrey in 2001 when he refused to allow The Corrections to be Winfrey's book of the month for her book club.

The novelist said he was worried it would affect his standing in high-art circles and was subsequently branded elitist by fellow writers such as Andre Dubus III and Thom Jones.

Franzen wins US book prize
15 Nov 01  |  Arts
The Corrections on Impac list
20 Mar 03  |  Arts
Franzen 'regrets' Oprah row
21 Jan 02  |  Arts


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