Scottish Book of the Year Award 2012 shortlist announced

Nominees include Alan Warner, Aonghas MacNeacail, Carol Ann Duffy, Ewan Morrison, Irvine Welsh, James Kelman and Kathleen Jamie

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Scottish Book of the Year Award 2012 shortlist announced

The shortlist has been announced for the 2012 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year. This years award will be chosen from a list of seven authors including James Kelman, Irvine Welsh and Kathleen Jamie to become the best Scottish book of 2012.

Last year's award went to Alasdair Gray, despite the fact that he initially refused it by asking that the award money go to a younger writer, for his book 'A Life in Pictures'.

The award was first given in 1982 and has been awarded annually since then to a living author of Scottish descent or residing in Scotland. The book itself must be on the subject of the work or life of a Scot or engage with a Scottish issue.

The winner will be announced on St Andrew's Day at a ceremony held at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Here's a quick guide to the shortlisted authors and their books.

Kathleen Jamie - Sightlines

The follow up to her critically acclaimed debut collection of essays Findings, Sightlines is poet Jamie's second foray into prose. Exploring themes of nature and human existence, Jamie's prose travels from observing the Northern Lights in Greenland to the wildlife of the Scottish coast.

Carol Ann Duffy - The Bees

The current Poet Laureate released this collection last November to widespread critical acclaim. After a brief hiatus to write children's poetry, Duffy's The Bees was praised for it's variety and use of language, described as a 'bold and free' collection by Scots Makkar Liz Lochhead who reviewed it for The Guardian.

James Kelman - Mo Said She Was Quirky

Scotland's only Booker Prize winning author (so far) takes a step into unknown territory by telling this story from the point of view of the Scotland-born-London-based protagonist Helen; his first female narrator. One night on the way home from work Helen thinks she sees her brother, now living rough, in London. In true Kelman style, the rest of the book explores her thoughts and interactions with the people around her over the next 24 hours.

Aonghas MacNeacail - Deanamh Gaire ris a’ Chloc (or Laughing at the Clock)

The Uig born poet's collection of poetry written in Gaelic and English moves through themes of through love, ageing, politics, language and memory. Laughing at the Clock was launched at the Scottish Poetry Library in May 2012, the year MacNeacail celebrated his 70th birthday.

Ewan Morrison - Tales from the Mall

A heady mix of fiction and non-fiction, Tales from the Mall resists definition. But Morrison's exploration of contemporary society through the tell-tale world of the shopping mall impressed The List's Brian Donaldson, who called it 'a vibrantly funny and genuinely scary portrait of our times'.

Alan Warner - The Deadman's Pedal

A contemporary of Irvine Welsh and the Rebel Inc magazine of the 90s, Warner's debut novel Morvern Caller rests firmly in the contemporary Scottish canon. His novel, The Deadman's Pedal, follows local lad Simon Crimmons as he leaves school at 16 to become a train driver and explores the mistakes he makes and encounters he faces as he matures into adulthood.

Irvine Welsh - Skagboys

The much-anticipated prequel to Welsh's infamous novel Trainspotting is a 400 page heifer of a book. Detailing the background to Renton's downfall, from university student to heroin addict, the novel uses the same language-and-realism combination that catapulted Welsh to literary stardom.

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