Dundee is a city which embraces writers - A.L.Kennedy, born and bred in the city, Douglas Dunn, Kate Atkinson, John Burnside, Bill Duncan and Rosamunde Pilcher are amongst the "glitterati" who have drawn on the City of Discovery for their inspiration over the last two decades.
2010 The Dundee International Book Prize Winner
A dramatic murder mystery set in a Lancashire town during Victorian times has been unveiled as the winner of this year’s Dundee International Book Prize, a collaboration between the University of Dundee, Polygon and Dundee One City, Many Discoveries.
Wigan teacher Alan Wright (59) has been awarded the £10,000 prize, the highest in the UK for an unpublished writer, and with it a publishing deal for his debut novel, Act of Murder.
The book is set in Alan’s home town in 1894, and centres upon the fictional gruesome murder of entertainer Richard Throstle, who came to town with his wife Georgina and their ghoulish magic lantern show.
2009 Winner Chris Longmuir - Dead Wood
Local crime writer, Chris Longmuir (left) has won the Dundee International Book Prizefor her gritty crime novel Dead Wood
Dead Wood was selected from over a hundred entries . She received a 10,000 cash prize and a publishing contract. Ms. Longmuir said that she is: “ Over the moon. It really has been a long haul and it feels so fantastic to see my book on the shelves of local bookstores.”
Book description - [ ed: no cover art at time of posting as yet to be published- June 30th,2009)
The winning novel Dead Wood, set in the industrial city of Dundee, begs the question; what happens when the cold, calculating world of gangland retribution collides with the psychosis of a serial killer?
In a grim Dundee of urban decay and criminal deprivation what happens when the cold, calculating world of gangland retribution collides with the psychosis of a serial killer? Kara has a debt to gangster Tony and takes to the streets to earn the cash. On a job she encounters the killer's victims' dumped in the woods just outside the city. Terrified, she escapes, making an anonymous phone call to the police. An investigation led by newcomer DC Louise Walker begins, but she is not the only one determined to catch the killer. Tony, devastated to learn that his daughter is one of the victims, vows revenge. Who will find the killer first? And what kind of justice will prevail?
2007 - Fiona Dunscombe - The Triple Point of Water
The novel tells the story of Harri, a stripper who believes in magic and is haunted by two very different images of her father. Her friend, Saf, searches among London's homeless for a dad she no longer remembers, whilst another young woman struggles to come to terms with what her father does for a living. In a decade presided over by Britain's first female prime-minister, absent fathers, fantasy fathers, psuedo fathers, religious, and transgressive fathers, haunt and protect, love, lie and desert; Harri's task is to find her own identity somewhere between them.
Growing up in rural Nottinghamshire, Arabella Cordon sees life through a filter of fairytales. She idolises her father, but his enthusiasm is reserved for steam engines, motorcycles and Margaret Thatcher. On the day Thatcher comes to power, Arabella's life changes irrevocably. Alone and adrift in London, she takes a job as a striptease artist in Soho and makes friends with Saf, who is searching for her lost father amongst the city's homeless. Unlike Saf, Arabella is determined to leave the past behind, but she is haunted by the ghosts of fathers - missing fathers, pseudo fathers, fantasy fathers. In the icy years presided over by Britain's first female prime minister, Arabella's own identity and survival are inextricably linked to the question of what a father is. More
2005 _ Malcolm Archibald - Whales for the Wizard.
The adventure story is based around the whaling industry in Dundee in the 1860’s and its fast-paced and detailed narrative truly captures the spirit of the time.
Set in 1860, Whales for the Wizard is a novel of intrigue and mystery. Returning to Dundee after years in the army, Robert Douglas finds employment with George Gilbride, a whaling-ship owner and businessman, but falls foul of the sinister John Wyllie. Drugged by Wyllie, Douglas awakes on board the steam-whaler Redgauntlet, bound for the Arctic, to realise that many of his companions believe the ship is haunted and do not expect to return.
The voyage sees the unravelling of a year-old mystery as Douglas clashes with, then befriends 'Bully' Houston, the ship's mate, and together they locate a sister ship that was believed lost in the ice. By finding clues from various sources, they decide that Wyllie was the source of many unpleasant happenings, and their respect deepens on a difficult journey homewards.
Their problems are not resolved until they return to Dundee, when Gilbride's daughter Ellen helps to solve the final mystery and they discover the real force behind their problems. Whales for the Wizard combines a sea story with the atmosphere of an industrial city undergoing immense change. More
2002 - Claire-Marie Watson - The Curewife
The Curewife - In the reign of Charles I, Grissel Jaffray, The Curewife, arrived in Dundee as a new bride. This compelling story, based on the very few known facts about her life, graphically depicts seventeenth-century Dundee: a time of war, plague, political turmoil, and fanatical witch-hunts.
The Curewife is the story of Grissel Jaffray, the last woman to be burnt as a witch in Dundee. Her story is brought to light by the chance discovery of an ancient diary in modern day Connecticut. Through the transcription of this diary, a powerful narrative unfolds. Grissel Jaffray has inherited a legacy of 'uncommon sagacity': the accumulated knowledge of her forebears who have the gift of healing and practiced withcraft for more than three centuries. Grissel is a woman of keen intelligence whose fictional journal graphically depicts life in seventeenth-century Dundee: a land of war, plague, political turmoil, and fanatical witch-hunts. The struggle for survival echoes down the years to trouble the last of her tormented line. Now the place is New England, a place of peace prosperity and endless possibility. Her descendants' stories, told in parallel with main narrative, bring ancient fears to today's business world.Winner of the Dundee Book Prize 2002.
2000 - Andrew Murray Scott won the first Dundee Book Prize with his novel Tumulus
Tumulus - the name refers to an ancient burial mound - is a tale in two parts. The first tells the storyvia the narrator, the second investigates it. Tumulus details bohemian Dundee through the 60s and 70s to the present day blending fact, myth, pub tales and autobiograhical account. Andrew Murray Scott is a graduate of the University of Dundee and now works as a press officer. Three further novels by Andrew have been published; 'Estuary Blue', 'The Mushroom Club' and 'The Big J'.An enigmatic and prize-winning first novel from a vibrant new voice on the fiction scene: Andrew Murray Scott. Tumulus tells the story of an archivist, Stella Auld, who, in the course of putting together an exhibition focusing on 70s urban culture, unearths a mysterious manuscript from that psychedelic decade. Enthralled by the outrageous accounts of parties, urban myth, drug-taking, drunken heroism and artistic ambitionthe manuscript contains, she decides to embark upon an investigation to track down the author. But, as many false trails and versions of the truth start to appear through her investigations, and as the boundaries between the fictional lives of the characters and Stella's own reality begin to break down, her sanity begins to suffer... Does she really walk two miles naked in the dark to burrow her way inside an archaeological site - or was that a dream? In the end she is forced to make an appeal to the reader to solve the enigma at the heart of the novel. This is a riotous and hilarious account of a middle-aged woman forced to reassess her conception of herself as a respectable citizen. A mix of raw humor, irony, black sarcasm and enigma, Tumulus presents the reader with a literary puzzle, stories within stories, and a mystery within a mystery. This is experimental modern fiction at its most stylish and unexpected best.