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Salmond’s favourite book wins Saltire Society award

The First Minister’s favourite book of the year has won one of the prestigious literary prizes in Scotland.

James Robertson’s And The Land Lay Still was last night awarded the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year award.

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The novel, published by Hamish Hamilton, was described by the Saltire Society as “brilliantly blending the personal and the political” and added: “And The Land Stay Still sweeps away the dust and grime of the postwar years to reveal a rich mosaic of 20th-century Scottish life.”

In The Herald this weekend, Alex Salmond chose the novel as his favourite book of the year, and added: “It is hugely ambitious, yet still immensely readable, sweeping through 50 years of major political, social and cultural change … Robertson’s writing gives an insight into Scottish identity and the development of the confident, vibrant nation Scotland is today.”

At the same awards event, the 2010 Royal Mail Scottish First Book of the Year Award was presented jointly to The History Of Orkney Literature by Simon Hall and The Death Of Lomond Friel by Sue Peebles

The 2010 National Library of Scotland’s Scottish Research Book of the Year was given jointly to Robert Burns & Pastoral, Poetry and Improvement in Late Eighteenth-Century Scotland by Nigel Leask, and Adam Smith, an Enlightened Life by Nicholas Phillipson.

Martyn Wade, the National Librarian and chief executive of the National Library of Scotland, said: “NLS is delighted that the standard of the shortlist was so high that we have joint winners of the Research Book award.

“The work by Nicholas Phillipson is a masterly re-telling of the life of Scotland’s great economist, Adam Smith, illuminating his fame by examining his philosophical thought.

“The book by Nigel Leask presents a major rethink of Burns, placing him firmly within the Scottish and European Enlightenments and providing a fresh view on all the main poems.”

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