2023 Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction longlist revealed

The esteemed judges of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction have unveiled the longlist for the 2023 edition. With 13 thought-provoking titles spanning a wide spectrum of subjects and genres, this year’s selection is sure to captivate readers.

Frederick Studemann, the chair of judges, remarked on the challenging task of narrowing down their choices, emphasising the rich diversity of topics covered. 

He said, “Our judging discussions were intense and rigorous—and also enjoyable and highly stimulating.” The selected books share a common thread—an ability to communicate lucidly and engage with readers intelligently and relevantly.

The shortlist for this prestigious literary award will be unveiled at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 8, 2023. As part of the 25th-anniversary celebrations, each author on the shortlist will receive £5,000, a significant increase from previous years’ £1,000 award. The ultimate winner, to be announced on November 16, will claim the grand prize of £50,000.

See the longlist below:

  1. Daron Acemoglu (Turkish-American) and Simon Johnson (British-American): Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity (Basic Books, John Murray Press UK, Hachette UK)
  2. Hannah Barnes (British): Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children (Swift Press)
  3. Tania Branigan (British): Red Memory: Living, Remembering and Forgetting China’s Cultural Revolution (Faber & Faber)
  4. Christopher Clark (Australian): Revolutionary Spring: Fighting for a New World 1848-1849 (Allen Lane, Penguin Random House)
  5. Jeremy Eichler (American): Time’s Echo: The Second World War, The Holocaust, and The Music of Remembrance (Faber & Faber)
  6. David Grann (American): The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder (Simon & Schuster)
  7. Jennifer Homans (American): Mr. B: George Balanchine’s Twentieth Century (Granta Books, Granta)
  8. Katja Hoyer (German): Beyond the Wall: East Germany, 1949-1990 (Allen Lane, Penguin Press)
  9. Tiya Miles (American): All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake (Profile Books)
  10. Siddhartha Mukherjee (Indian-American): The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human (The Bodley Head, Vintage, Penguin Random House UK)
  11. Nathan Thrall (American): A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: A Palestine Story (Allen Lane, Penguin Press)
  12. Chris van Tulleken (British): Ultra Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … and Why Can’t We Stop? (Cornerstone, Penguin Random House)
  13. John Vaillant (American-Canadian): Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World (Sceptre, Hodder & Stoughton)

With such a diverse and compelling selection, readers can anticipate a stimulating journey through the realms of nonfiction literature as the competition unfolds. The shortlist reveal is set for October and the crowning of the winner is in November. The world of nonfiction writing is on display, and it’s a literary spectacle not to be missed.







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