Burns and Evans make Orwell Prize for Political Fiction shortlist

Burns and Evans make Orwell Prize for Political Fiction shortlist

Man Booker Prize winner Anna Burns and Women's Prize shortlistee Diana Evans are among the six novelists shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

The new fault lines in contemporary politics are the themes of the novels on the shortlist: women’s reproductive rights, the collapse of social housing, living in Northern Ireland, domestic life. With books set all over the globe, the inaugural shortlist for Political Fiction has a distinctly international flavour, said organisers. 

Burns' Milkman (Faber) is nominated alongside Evans' Ordinary People (Chatto & Windus) with Ironopolis by Glen James Brown (Parthian Books) also making the cut. Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (Granta), House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Atlantic Fiction) and Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (The Borough Press) round off the shortlist. 

The new prize will be awarded  in June, marking 70 years since the publication of Nineteen Eighty Four. Sponsored by AM Heath and Orwell’s son Richard Blair, the £3,000 prize will be judged by broadcaster Tom Sutcliffe, Sam Leith, literary editor of the Spectator, author Preti Taneja and Dr Xine Yao, lecturer in American Literature to 1900 at University College London

The shortlist for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, now restricted to non-fiction, features six titles. The list includes an examination of India's Naxalites, a dissection of money laundering, a persuasive account of why our economies are all built on an error and a re-appraisal of ‘disappearances’ during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. 

Oliver Bullough's Moneyland: Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It Back (Profile Books), Francisco Cantú's The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Bodley Head) and Nora Krug's Heimat: A German Family Album (Particular Books) have made the non-fiction shortlist. 

The Growth Delusion The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling (Bloomsbury), Patrick Radden Keefe's Say Nothing: A True Story Of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (William Collins) and Alpa Shah's Nightmarch: Among India's Revolutionary Guerrillas (Hurst Publishers) were also recognised. 

Tulip Siddiq MP, Ted Hodgkinson, head of literature and spoken word at Southbank Centre, Robbie Millen, literary editor of the Times, and Helen Pankhurst, author, women’s rights activist and international development practitioner will judge the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing

The winners of both prizes, which are worth £3,000, will be unveiled on Orwell’s birthday, Tuesday 25th June, at UCL, together with the winner of The Orwell Prize for Journalism and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils.