James Tait Black Prize: Which novel is the best of the best?


Students and scholars at the University of Edinburgh have nailed down their "best of the best" shortlist


England's oldest literary prize has set out to recognize its best ever winner.

The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for best novel, established in 1919, has an all-star list of past recipients, including E.M. Forster, Aldous Huxley, Muriel Spark and J.G. Ballard. You can see the complete list of recipients here.

This year, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of English literature classes at the University of Edinburgh, scholars and students were surveyed to come up with a shortlist of six authors, all of whom are previous winners, the Independent reports.

The six contending books are: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene, A Disaffection by James Kelman, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips and The Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel Spark.

"This best of the best award is a wonderful opportunity to revisit some of the best writers in the literary canon," Greg Walker, chair of the James Tait Black Prizes, said.

Do you agree with the shortlist? Which previous winners should be contending for the best of the best award? Let us know in the comments below.