Lord Browne of Madingley, chairman of the Tate Galleries and a former chief executive of BP, will lead the judging panel for Pushkin House’s 2015 Russian Book Prize.
Now in its third year, the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, run in association with Waterstones, awards £5,000 to the best non-fiction writing on Russia. The Prize was created to encourage public understanding and intelligent debate about the Russian-speaking world.
Lord Browne has extensive experience of Russia through its BP-TNK partnership and as a business adviser to leading investors. He will be joined on the 2015 judging panel by Bridget Kendall, BBC diplomatic correspondent with a particular interest in Russia, historian Catherine Merridale, whose Red Fortress (Allen Lane) won the Pushkin House Russian Book Price in 2014, Dmitry Bykov, a Russian writer, poet and journalist, and Varya Gornostaeva, founder and editor in chief of Russian publisher Corpus.
Lord Browne said: “As a businessman, Russia has occupied much of my attention for the past 20 years. Contemporary Russian life is in flux and continues to be shaped and reshaped by the country’s history, traditions and culture. It is an endlessly fascinating and challenging place of which to read and write, and I am delighted to be chairing a panel which will seek to bring the very best works about Russia to a wider audience.”
Andrew Jack, co-chair of Pushkin House, said: “We are delighted by the support of such a top calibre jury to select the best writing about Russia and promote intelligent Anglo-Russian understanding at such an important time.”
James Daunt, Waterstones’ managing director, added: “In the past two years the Pushkin Prize has been a tremendous success, attracting a wide and one hopes new readership to shortlists of great distinction. We eagerly anticipate this third year, all the more so for it being once again in the hands of a judging panel of exceptional calibre.”
The shortlist for the 2015 Prize will be announced in March 2015, followed by the announcement of the winner in May.