Alexievich shortlisted for Baillie Gifford Prize

Alexievich shortlisted for Baillie Gifford Prize

Svetlana Alexievich, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature last year, is on the shortlist for this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction.

The prize, known until last year as the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, now comes with a cheque for £30,000 thanks to new sponsorship from Edinburgh-based investment management partnership Baillie Gifford.

Alexievich is shortlisted for Second-hand Time, a book about life in the USSR before its collapse, translated by Bela Shayevich (Fitzcarraldo Editions). Her book is shortlisted alongside Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson (Granta Books), The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between by Hisham Matar (Viking) and East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity by Philippe Sands (Weidenfeld & Nicolson).

Stephanie Flanders, chair of the judges, said: "Some shortlists are creatures of compromise. You end up with a list that everyone can live with, rather than a set of titles that each judge can wholeheartedly endorse. But I'm delighted to say there was no need for messy compromises this year - or even much debate. Of the many superb books on the long list, these are the four books that each of us 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."

The winner of this year’s award will be announced on 15th November.

See what the judges had to say about the shortlisted books below: