Entertainment & Arts

Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Prize nominees announced

Margo Jefferson and Svetlana Alexievich Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Margo Jefferson and Svetlana Alexievich are among the nominees

The shortlist for this year's Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction have been announced.

Margo Jefferson and Svetlana Alexievich are among the nominees for the £30,000 award, previously known as the Samuel Johnson Prize.

Hisham Matar and Philippe Sands have also been shortlisted for the award, which aims to recognise high quality non-fiction works published in English.

Former BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders is chair of the judges.

She said: "Of the many superb books on the long list, these are the four books that each of us [judges] would be happy so see win.

"If they have anything in common it is perhaps the emphasis on the first person - and first-hand reporting. There are voices and stories in these books that we haven't heard before and which are going to stay with me for a very long time."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hisham Matar and Philippe Sands have both made the shortlist for the £30,000 prize

Belarusian investigative journalist Alexievich's Second-hand Time was originally written in Russian but its translation by Bela Shayevich made it eligible for the longlist.

The book focuses on what life in the USSR was like just prior to its collapse.

Jefferson, a former New York Times theatre critic, is nominated for Negroland: A Memoir.

The biography chronicles her experience of growing up in Chicago's black elite in the 1960s and 70s, where she describes being "sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty".

Franco-British lawyer Sands is nominated for East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, which studies the origins of international law.

The final nominee, Libyan writer Matar has previously been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between, sees him return to his home country following the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, who was captured and killed in 2011.


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