Works by American author Kent Haruf and British writer Jim Crace are on the shortlist for Britain's oldest literary awards - the James Tait Black Prizes.

Two prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh - one for the best fiction and the other for the best biography. The winners will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. The four novels competing for the fiction prize are: Harvest by Jim Crace; Benediction by Kent Haruf; The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner; All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld.

The shortlisted works for the biography section are: The Boys in the Boat: An Epic True-Life Journey to the Heart of Hitler's Berlin by Daniel James Brown; Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang; Penelope Fitzgerald: A life by Hermione Lee; ­Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France by Nicholas Shakespeare.

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