James won the award in 1989 with A Disaffection, and joins a stellar shortlist of Angela Carter, Graham Greene, Cormac McCarthy, Muriel Spark and Caryl Phillips. The winning book will be announced in December, chosen by a judging panel including broadcaster Kirsty Wark and award-winning author and writer in residence at the university, Alan Warner.
Regius Professor Greg Walker, chair of the James Tait Black Prizes, said: "This best of the best award is a wonderful opportunity to revisit some of the best writers in the literary canon. It is fitting in the year of celebration of 250 years of study of English literature at the University of Edinburgh that we recognise the wonderful contribution this prize makes to honouring great literature."
Everyone at Polygon will be keeping their fingers crossed for James. To find out more about his work, and the titles by him published by Polygon, click here.