The Biographers’ Club has revealed its shortlist for 2018’s Tony Lothian Prize, awarding £2,000 to the best proposal for a first uncommissioned biography.
Judged by critics Alex Clark and Lindsay Duguid alongside biographer Edmund Gordon - himself the winner of the Club’s Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2017 for The Invention of Angela Carter - the shortlisted proposals span topics including interwar female writers and modern Japan.
They are Harriet Baker’s Rural Hours: Interwar Female Writers, Landscape and Living; Susan Karen Burton’s Gaijin: Modern Japan Through Western Eyes; Patrick Donovan’s Who Killed Arnold Bennett? The Wife, the Mistress and Virginia Woolf; Susan Dunne’s Parallel Lives: The Literary Friendship of Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell; and Katharine Campbell’s Behold the Dark Gray Man: The Life and Times of Sholto, Lord Douglas of Kirtleside.
Demonstrating the influence of the prize in giving aspiring biographers a welcome leg up, last year’s winner, John Woolf’s Queen Victoria’s Freaks, was subsequently signed by Michael O’Mara Books; in 2016, Sarah Watling’s Noble Savages secured a deal with Jonathan Cape; and 2015’s winner, Francesca Wade with Square Haunting, went on to be signed by Faber.
The winner of 2018’s prize will be awarded at the Biographers’ Club Christmas party on 4th December.
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