Alan Cumming wins 2015 Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize (£3,500) for Not My Father’s Son (Canongate)

Judges Damian Barr, Fiona MacCarthy and James Naughtie were bowled over by the power of Alan Cumming’s poignant memoir of his relationship with an abusive and cruel father, told in unsparing prose and deftly constructed around a series of flashbacks through his childhood and coming of age.

Alan Cumming is a Scottish character actor, author and activist who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and plays, including Cabaret, in which he played the Master of Ceremonies. He is the author of a novel, Tommy’s Tale, and this prize-winning memoir.

The 2015 shortlist for the Prize was:

Anita Anand – Sophia, Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary (Bloomsbury)
Michael Bundock – The Fortunes of Francis Barber (Yale)
Alan Cumming – Not My Father’s Son (Canongate)
Lyndsey Jenkins – Lady Constance Lytton, Aristocrat, Suffragette, Martyr (Biteback)
Sarah Knights – Bloomsbury’s Outsider: A Life of David Garnett (Bloomsbury)

This is the second year of sponsorship of the Prize by Slightly Foxed, the literary quarterly. For further information, go to