Queen's professor shortlisted for international writing prize
Kingston, ON – A biography of Thomas De Quincey by Queen’s University English Professor Robert Morrison has been shortlisted for the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
“I am gobsmacked,” said Professor Morrison after hearing the shortlist. “Being shortlisted for the oldest literary prize in Britain seems impossible. I am absolutely elated.”
Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the most esteemed book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language. Prizes of £10,000 each are awarded in two categories, biography and fiction.
Previous fiction prizewinners include D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, Graham Greene, George Mackay Brown, James Kelman and William Boyd. Among past recipients of the biography prize are Lytton Strachey, John Buchan, Lady Antonia Fraser and Quentin Bell.
Professor Morrison’s compelling book, The English Opium Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey, has garnered a flurry of international media attention since its official launch on December 8, 2009, the 150th anniversary of De Quincey's death.
The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.