The shortlist of nominees for the prestigious 2022 Baillie Gifford Prize has been announced.
The award, presented annually since 1999, focuses on non-fiction writing, ‘bringing the best in intelligent reflection on the world to its new readers’, according to its website.
At a ceremony in Cheltenham on Monday 10 October, writer and chair of the judging committee Caroline Sanderson announced the six titles nominated.
They are Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins, The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freedland, and My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route by Sally Hayden.
Katherine Rundell’s Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donn, Polly Morland’s A Fortunate Woman: A Country Doctor’s Story, and The Restless Republic: Britain Without a Crown by Anna Keay also made the shortlist.
The Restless Republic was recently reviewed by Military History Matters magazine, which praised it as ‘splendid’, adding that Keay’s writing was ‘scholarly… but at the same time extremely readable.’
The winner of the prize will be announced on Thursday, 17 November at an award ceremony at the Science Museum in London.
The ceremony is supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and will be livestreamed across the Baillie Gifford Prize’s social channels.
Covering all areas of non-fiction including current affairs, history, sport, travel, biography, and the arts, past winners include Hallie Rubenheld, Philippe Sands, and Craig Brown.
Last year’s winner was Patrick Radden Keefe for his book Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty.
Along with Sanderson, who is associate editor of The Bookseller, the judging committee for the prize includes writers Laura Spinney and Rachel Cook, television journalist Clive Myrie, author Samanth Subramanian, and broadcaster Georgina Godwin.
Speaking on the difficulty of the selection process, Sanderson said: ‘You need to make sure that we can have a robust, and honest, and an enjoyable discussion. There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting and talking about books.’