Prize for ‘unconventional’ royal biography

An “unconventional” biography of Princess Margaret has won one of the top prizes in the UK’s longest-running literary awards.

Craig Brown was awarded the James Tait Black biography prize for Ma’am Darling – which combines interviews, parodies and essays.

Its story of the Queen’s sister is said to paint a “witty” picture of royal life.

The James Tait Black prize for fiction went to Eley Williams.

Her work is a series of experimental short stories – using puns, forgotten words and hidden meanings – under the title Attrib. and Other Stories.

The James Tait Black Awards were founded in 1919 by Janet Coats, the widow of publisher James Tait Black.

They are awarded each year by the University of Edinburgh.

Biography judge Dr Jonathan Wild said: “Craig Brown’s astonishing blend of materials work together to create a biography that is both profound and wildly entertaining.”

Commenting on Eley Williams’ work, fiction judge Dr Alex Lawrie added: “This is a remarkable set of short stories: experimental in the best way possible, articulating moments of intense intimacy with stunning freshness and clarity.”

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