Sue Black’s book wins top Scottish non-fiction prize.
Forensic science expert lauded for ‘life-affirming’ book
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 memoirs...it 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.