INVERNESS novelist Ali Smith has scooped a second major literary award in the space of two days.
Ms Smith, who now lives in Cambridge, was awarded the £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize on Wednesday for her latest novel, How To Be Both, a dual narrative story split between the story of an artist in Renaissance Italy and the experiences of a grieving teenager in the modern day.
Her success in the Goldsmiths Prize, one of Britain’s newest literary awards, came just a day after she won the Literary Book of the Year category at Scotland’s Saltire Society Literary Awards, which comes with £2000 in prize money.
How To Be Both was also shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, marking Ms Smith’s third appearance on the shortlist for the UK’s most prestigious literary award, but missed out to Australian writer Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North last month.
Other books on the Goldsmith’s shortlist were Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake, Rachel Cusk’s Outline and another novel shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker, Howard Jacobson’s J.
However, the judging panel voted in favour of How To Be Both.
Author and chairman of the judgiong panel, Francis Spufford, commented: "We are proud to give this year's Goldsmiths Prize to a book which confirms that formal innovation is completely compatible with pleasure - that it can be, in fact, a renewal of the writer's compact with the reader to delight and to astonish."
In turn Ms Smith, who was also shortlisted for the award last year, the first in which it was awardedm called the Goldsmiths prize about the thing closest to your heart for anyone interested in the form of the novel and the form of language.
"The point of this is that it’s about language, about all the things a novel can do, not just some of the things a novel can do," she added.
"That’s what this prize is about. It’s about the multi-variousness, the everything the novel can do is included in this prize.”
How To Be Both is published by Penguin Books.