The author of Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters, has been shortlisted for this year's James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
Waters was nominated for last year's Booker Prize
The Night Watch is up for the UK's oldest literary award alongside Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Electricity by Ray Robinson and James Lasdun's Seven Lies.
Other nominees are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun and The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro.
Books about Welsh poet RS Thomas and Scottish writer George Mackay Brown are included in a separate biography list.
Byron Rogers is recognised for his account of Thomas's life, The Man Who Went into the West, while Maggie Fergusson writes about the late Orkney Islands author and poet Brown.
Kate Teltscher's account of the first British expedition to Tibet, The High Road to China, is also shortlisted, as is Gillian Darley's publication Living for Ingenuity, which was about the English diarist John Evelyn.
The final two biographies are Carmen Callil's Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland, and Mellon: An American Life by David Cannadine, which describes US financier Andrew Mellon.
Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road is one of the fiction nominees
The awards are presented annually by the University of Edinburgh to eligible English-language publications.
The two winners will be announced as part of the Scottish capital's book festival on 25 August.
Last year's prizes went to Ian McEwan's Saturday and Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream by Sue Prideaux.