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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Literary award shortlists McEwan
Ian McEwan (left) and Kazuo Ishiguro
Nominated authors Ian McEwan (left) and Kazuo Ishiguro
Ian McEwan's novel Saturday and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go are among the nominees for Britain's oldest literary awards.

The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are presented annually to the best fictional book and top biography.

Also among the fiction nominees are authors Andre Brink, Uzodinma Iweala, Joyce Carol Oates and Ali Smith.

The shortlisted biographies include books on Nazi propagandist Lord Haw-Haw and war poet Siegfried Sassoon.

The fiction list in full reads:

  • Andre Brink, Praying Mantis
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
  • Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation
  • Ian McEwan, Saturday
  • Joyce Carol Oates, Mother, Missing
  • Ali Smith, The Accidental

The six biographies nominated for the prize are:

  • Max Egremont, Siegfried Sassoon: A Biography
  • Nigel Farndale, Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce
  • Roger Knight, The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson
  • Alexander Masters, Stuart: A Life Backwards
  • Roger Pearson, A Life in Pursuit of Freedom
  • Sue Prideaux, Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream

The awards were originally set up in 1919 by Janet Coutts, the wife of publisher James Tait Black, in memory of her husband's dedication to literary excellence.

The shortlist was selected by staff and graduate students at the University of Edinburgh's English Literature department.

The two winners will be announced next month and each will receive 10,000 in prize money.

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