Sue Black’s book wins top Scot­tish non-fiction prize.

Foren­sic sci­ence ex­pert lauded for ‘life-af­firm­ing’ book

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL MA­LIK pa­ma­[email protected]­

Pro­fes­sor Dame Sue Black has been named as one of the coun­try’s top au­thors af­ter her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy was named Scot­tish Book of the Year.

All That Re­mains: A Life in Death, was re­leased ear­lier this year and was writ­ten dur­ing her time as head of Dundee Univer­sity’s foren­sic sci­ence depart­ment.

It was named Saltire Scot­land’s Book of the Year and non-fiction book of the year at a spe­cial cer­e­mony at the Dy­namic Earth mu­seum in Ed­in­burgh yes­ter­day evening.

The tome is an ex­plo­ration of Pro­fes­sor Black’s three decades in the foren­sic field, a ca­reer which has taken her from in­ves­ti­gat­ing the scene of hor­rific war crimes com­mit­ted in Kosovo to iden­ti­fy­ing vic­tims of the 2004 In­dian Ocean tsunami in Thai­land.

Saltire judges, com­ment­ing on their de­ci­sion to award Pro­fes­sor Black the pres­ti­gious prize, said her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy was “cu­ri­ously up­lift­ing and life-af­firm­ing” and added “like all good me­ re­veals as much about the reader as the writer”.

Five other Scot­tish au­thors were awarded prizes on the night, in­clud­ing Fife writer Mick Kit­son, whose book Sal, the story of 13-year-old Sal and her 10-year-old sis­ter Peppa who seek to es­cape the abuse of their al­co­holic mother’s boyfriend by run­ning away into the Scot­tish wilder­ness – was named First Book of the Year.

Saltire So­ci­ety pro­gramme di­rec­tor Sarah Ma­son said: “From po­etry to pub­lish­ing, fiction to aca­demic stud­ies, ex­tend­ing the length and breadth of the coun­try and far be­yond, this year’s Saltire Lit­er­ary Awards are a tes­ta­ment to the out­stand­ing cal­i­bre of mod­ern Scot­tish lit­er­a­ture in all its var­ied forms.

“Ev­ery one of the in­di­vid­ual awards was hotly con­tested, mak­ing the judges’ de­ci­sions par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing.

“My congratulations to all of the win­ners and my thanks to the judg­ing pan­els, to all of our part­ners and sup­port­ers who have helped to make the 2018 awards such a suc­cess.”

The Saltire Lit­er­ary Awards are sup­ported by Cre­ative Scot­land and are re­garded as one of the coun­try’s top lit­er­ary prizes.

Cre­ative Scot­land’s Mairi Kidd said: “These awards oc­cupy a unique place in the Scot­tish lit­er­ary land­scape, recog­nis­ing as they do Scot­tish lit­er­a­ture and pub­lish­ing in all its var­ied forms.”

Pro­fes­sor Black re­cently left Dundee to take up a vice-chan­cel­lor post at Lan­caster Univer­sity. She re­mains an ad­vi­sory board mem­ber at Dundee.

The other win­ners on the night were Leila Aboulela, Jay Whit­taker, Les Wil­son and Tom Mole.

Pro­fes­sor Dame Sue Black with her award for Scot­tish Book of the Year.

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