Syrian author Samar Yazbek has made the Orwell Prize longlist for The Crossing, which tells of the journalist’s attempts to get back into her country after being exiled by president Bashar al-Assad.
The Orwell Prize longlist was released today (7th March), featuring five women and seven men, including four titles from independent publishers, including two from Atlantic Books.
Yazbek’s The Crossing: My journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria (Rider) joins other female authors Gillian Tett for The Silo Effect (Little, Brown), Emma Sky for The Unravelling (Atlantic Books), Wendell Steavenson's Circling the Square (Granta Books) and Anne-Marie Slaughter's Unfinished Business (Oneworld Publications) on the longlist.
The other authors to make the list are Andy Beckett for Promised you a Miracle: UK80 – 82 (Allen Lane), Jason Burke for The New Threat from Islamic Militancy (Bodley Head), Thomas Harding for The House by the Lake (William Heinemann), Sudhir Hazareesingh for How the French Think (Allen Lane), Steve Hilton for More Human (WH Allen), John Kay for Other People’s Money (Profile Books), Ferdinand Mount for The Tears of the Rajas (Simon and Schuster) and Arkady Ostrovsky for The Invention of Russia (Atlantic Books).
This year’s judges are Lord William Waldegrave, Professor Andrew Gamble, David Goodhart and Fiammetta Rocco, with Lord Waldegrave joining the judges at the shortlisting stage.
In a joint statement, they said: “All of the longlisted books were written out of personal witness. They shared a relationship to the events they described, a holding to account, and they shared a direct, personal engagement with the material.”
The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing and is awarded each year for the book which come closest to George Orwell’s ambition to “make political writing into an art”.
The shortlists for the Orwell Prize for Books, the Orwell Prize for Journalism and the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils will be announced at an event on the evening of Thursday 21st April 2016.
The winner of each £3,000 prize will be announced at a ceremony at the end of May 2016.