Débuts strong on Orwell shortlist

Débuts strong on Orwell shortlist

Two début authors have made the shortlists for this year’s Orwell Prize for political writing.

Dan Davies has made the £3,000 Book Prize shortlist for his book about Jimmy Savile, In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (Quercus). The other first-time writer on the list is Louisa Lim, who is shortlisted for The People’s Republic of Amnesia (Oxford University Press), a look at how the events in Tiananmen Square on 4th June 1989 changed China and how the country has rewritten its history.

Novelist Rana Dasgupta’s first non-fiction title Capital: The Eruption of Delhi (Canongate), a portrait of India’s capital and the expansion of the global elite, is also on the shortlist.

Nick Davies’ book about the hacking scandal, Hack Attack (Chatto & Windus), the second volume in David Kynaston’s history of post-war Britain, Modernity Britain: A Shake of the Dice, 1959-62 (Bloomsbury) and James Meek’s exploration of Britain’s common wealth became privately owned, Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else (Verso), complete the shortlist.

The six titles were narrowed down from a 12-strong longlist.

The judges for the 2015 Book Prize are Claire Armitstead, Gillian Slovo and Tony Wright.

The two other Orwell Prizes are awarded for journalism and "Exposing Britain’s Social Evils". The shortlists were announced last night (21st April) at the University of Westminster.

The director of the Orwell Prize, Professor Jean Seaton, said: “Orwell was never parochial. His work spans international events and the national condition, and that range is represented in the shortlist. The books place Britain’s circumstances alongside those of India and China. The judges who select the shortlists always find judging refreshing; it alerts them and us to how much good work is being done.”    

The three prize winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 21st May.