Evaristo, Criado Perez and Whitehead on Orwell Prize shortlists

Evaristo, Criado Perez and Whitehead on Orwell Prize shortlists

Bernardine Evaristo, Caroline Criado Perez and Colson Whitehead are among the authors to make the Orwell Prize shortlists for its Political Writing and Political Fiction awards.

The winners of both prizes, each worth £3,000, will be unveiled on George Orwell’s birthday, 25th June.

On the Political Writing shortlist, Royal Society Science Book Prize-winner Criado Perez's Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (Chatto & Windus) is pitted against Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton) and The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (Profile).

The shortlist also features Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War by Tim Bouverie (Bodley Head), Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy (Picador), The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment by Amelia Gentleman (Guardian Faber) and Margaret Thatcher—Herself Alone: The Authorised Biography Vol 3 by Charles Moore (Allen Lane)

In the Political Fiction shortlist, Booker-winner Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton) is nominated alongside Goldsmiths Prize champion Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann (Galley Beggar Press) and Pulitzer-winning The Nickel Boys by Whitehead (Fleet).

Also getting the nod are The Wall by John Lanchester (Faber), Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke (Serpent's Tail) and Girl by Edna O'Brien (Faber & Faber).

Organisers at the Orwell Foundation said: “The 13 books across the two lists may have been written in a pre-Covid era, but they still resonate and speak to us about the world we might want to live in after and during this crisis. This is writing which ranges from capturing the whirlwind of living through history, to novels and non-fiction which address both brutal and institutional racism, social inequality, the environment and the ever-encroaching world of data exploitation."

Last year's Political Writing Prize was won by Patrick Radden Keefe for Say Nothing (William Collins), while Anna Burns picked up the inaugural Political Fiction prize for Milkman (Faber).