Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela makes Saltire Literary Awards 2018 shortlists

Leila Aboulela is on the Saltire Literary Awards 2018 shortlists announced on October 22, 2018 for her book Elsewhere, Home. Also featuring is Jackie Kay the former Caine Prize judge for her poetry collection Bantam.

The Saltire Literary Awards founded in 1936 seek to recognise books which are either by “living authors of Scottish descent or residing in Scotland,” or which deal with “the work or life of a Scot or with a Scottish question, event or situation.

Sarah Mason programme director at Saltire Society on the announcement said: “Spanning poetry, fiction, non-fiction and academic research, once again the Saltire Literary Awards shortlists celebrate the diversity, quality and richness of books to come from Scotland over the past year.”

Here are some of the lists that feature a name or two that might seem familiar to readers of this blog. We have bolded them for easier identification.


  • The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson (Two Roads).
  • Dead Men’s Trousers by Irvine Welsh (Jonathan Cape).
  • Elsewhere, Home by Leila Aboulela (Saqi Books).
  • The Great Chain of Unbeing by Andrew Crumley (Dedalus).
  • A Treachery of Spies by Manda Scott (Transworld).
  • The Growing Season by Helen Sedgwick (Harvill Secker).


  • Who is Mary Sue? By Sophie Collins(Faber),
  • Bantam by Jackie Kay (Picador).
  • So Glad I’m Me by Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe).
  • The Long Take by Robin Robertson (Cinnamon Press).
  • Wristwatch by Jay Whittaker (Cinnamon Press).

In the fiction category we have Sudan born Leila Aboulela for her book Elsewhere, Home a novel which “offers a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad, attempting to navigate the conflicts of assimilation and difference in an unfamiliar world.” She is famous on the continent as the first winner of the Caine Prize in 2000 and has written books like The Translator (1999), Minaret (2005), Lyrics Alley (2011), and The Kindness of Enemies (2015).

Also on the list is Jackie Kay the Scottish poet laureate, who we fondly remember as a Caine Prize judge in 2014. Her collection Bantam exploring three generations, Kay’s own, her father’s, and her grandfather.

Getting on this shortlist means that you get a £2,000 cash prize, and the winner of each category goes home with a £6,000 cash prize.

The winners of all the awards will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland on November 30th, 2018.


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