Angela Carter wins James Tait Black Best of the Best

Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus has won the Best of the Best James Tait Black Prize, which honours the best novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded in 1919.

Carter's classic was chosen by a judging panel including broadcaster Kirsty Wark and author Alan Warner, and it triumphed over The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene, A Disaffection by James Kelman, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips and The Mandlebaum Gate by Muriel Spark.

The judges praised Carter's 1984 novel for its "fabulous exuberance" and “wonderfully drawn characters”, and her writing for its “vitality, lightness, passion and fun”.

The prize marks the 250th anniversary of English literature studies at Edinburgh University.