Two Saraband books win Saltire Society Literary Awards

Posted on November 28, 2016

Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project is Fiction Book of the Year

Chitra Ramaswamy’s Expecting is First Book of the Year

Two Saltire Society Books of the Year, and a shortlisting in the History Book of the Year category for Robin Noble’s Castles in the Mist – as well as a shortlisting for Publisher of the Year – caps off an extraordinary year for Saraband and its current crop of hugely talented writers.

Graeme Macrae Burnet, whose His Bloody Project was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to win this award, especially given the amazing calibre of the shortlisted authors. Scottish writing seems to be in very rude health.”

His Bloody Project is the story of a brutal triple-murder in a remote Highland crofting community in the 1860s. The question is not who did it –17-year-old Roderick Macrae freely admits to the killings – but why did he do it? Graeme Macrae Burnet ingeniously recounts the story of the murders and the subsequent trial with the aid of Roderick’s memoir, court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles.

Chitra Ramaswamy said: “I’m so delighted to have won First Book of the Year for Expecting. It means so much to have my first book recognised by such a prestigious award and to join such an impressive roll call of previous winners. Thank you!”

Expecting is a book that revels in the mysteries of pregnancy: it gets to the very heart of this overwhelming, confusing and exciting experience. A memoir focusing on each of the nine months of Chitra’s pregnancy, Expecting reveals the secrets of this everyday miracle with reflections on art, literature, nature and life.

Publisher Sara Hunt said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled for Graeme for the success of His Bloody Project and the recognition he so richly deserves. I’m certain the book will endure and bring pleasure to readers for many years to come. Winning the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award is a major achievement, and we’re truly delighted for him, and would like to express our thanks to the judges.

“Chitra’s wonderful, brave and beautifully written account of her pregnancy is an outstanding book, and I’m so delighted to see her win this prestigious award. She’s a warm, inclusive writer, and Expecting is proving not only a critical success, but a book with a surprisingly wide appeal, reaching far beyond those embarking on their own road to first-time parenthood. We’d like to thank the Saltire Society for awarding this fantastic accolade to Chitra.”