Granta owner Sigrid Rausing has been shortlisted for the 2015 RSL Ondaatje Prize for her book Everything is Wonderful (Grove Press), alongside authors including Helen Dunmore and Elif Shafak.
The annual award of £10,000 is given for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place.
Rausing’s Everything is Wonderful is a reflective account of a year she spent completing anthropological fieldwork in a former Soviet border protection zone in Estonia in 1993/4. Rausing is the publisher and editor of Granta magazine, and the publisher of Granta Books and Portobello Books.
Dunmore, winner of the inaugural Orange Prize, is shortlisted for The Lie (Hutchinson), a novel about love, memory and loss set during and just after the First World War.
Shafak is shortlisted for The Architect’s Apprentice (Viking), a tale of a boy and his elephant set in 16th century Istanbul.
Also on the shortlist is Rana Dasgupta for Capital (Canongate). Capital is a biography of Delhi and the effects of the capitalist transformation on it.
Tobias Hill is shortlisted for What Was Promised (Bloomsbury Circus), set in 1948, 1968 and 1988. It is the story of three families whose live intertwine over 40 years.
Justin Marozzi’s shortlisted Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Allen Lane), is a historical portrait of Baghdad.
The judges – Malaysian writer Tash Aw, writer and biographer Jonathan Keates, and poet Fiona Sampson – said: “This is a shortlist notable for its seriousness of intent. It has breadth and variety, as all good shortlists do, but the books on the list display an ambition rarely seen elsewhere. These are books that grapple with what seem to be the big issues of the world today - they trouble us, and stay with us long after we’ve finished them.”
The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on 18th May.
The 2014 prize was won by Alan Johnson for This Boy (Bantam Press).
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