Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1975 Costa Winner

Docherty by William McIlvanney


Publisher: Sceptre

Length: 368 pages

About: 1900s Scottish Mining Village Epic

Style: 3rd person

Where: Scotland

When: 1903





Publisher’s synopsis:

At the end of 1903, in a tough, working-class town in the West of Scotland, Tam Docherty's youngest son, Conn is born. Tam is determined that life and the pits won't swallow up his boy the way it has him. Courageous and questioning, Docherty emerges as a leader of almost indomitable strength, but in a close-knit community tradition is a powerful opponent.







 'He'll never be ready for the pits. No' this wan. He'll howk wi'his heid. Fur ideas' He winked at the baby. 'Eh Conn? Ah'm pittin his name doon for Prime Minister. First thing in the moarnin'







He has a hard muscular quality to his writing. Some of his phrases hammer against you like a collier’s pick. He creates robust, full-blooded characters. And he cares for them too. When Docherty is killed in a pit accident, one of his mates says he was “an awesome weeman.” I say of William McIlvanney that he has written “ an awesome wee book.”

Peter Tinniswood, The Times 13th March 1975





Not so good

Docherty by William McIlvanney, which is a novel about grim, staunch Scottish people at the end of the 19th century, doing their utmost not to be sent down the pit.

The Times, Hugo Rifkind, 17th April 2010





About the author

McIlvanney was born in the town of Kilmarnock, the son of a miner. He studied at Kilmarnock Academy and later at the University of Glasgow, after which he worked as an English teacher between 1960 and 1975. His first book, Remedy is None, was published in 1966 and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.


LAST          NEXT

<1974> -  <1976>















Page turner







Age guide: 12




Books by same author:



 None to date









2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Prize Winning Fiction