The Baillie Gifford Prize 2020 Shortlist Announced


The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction is delighted to announce the 2020 shortlist.

A virtual celebration of the shortlist will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube on October 15 at 5pm BST. Hear from this year’s judges Martha Kearney (chair), Shahidha Bari, Simon Ings, Leo Robson, Max Strasser and Bee Wilson as they discuss how they selected this year’s shortlist.

The 2020 shortlist:

The shortlist has been chosen by a panel chaired by BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Martha Kearney together with fellow BBC presenter, professor and author Shahidha Bari, editor and novelist Simon IngsNew Statesman writer Leo RobsonNew York Times opinion editor Max Strasser and journalist and author Bee Wilson.


Martha Kearney, chair of judges, says:
“In 2020 we certainly learned that truth is stranger than fiction and our shortlist shows the sheer power of real life stories. From brain science to Beatlemania, Shoguns to suburban poltergeists, sex slavery to slave rebellions, this is our eclectic lockdown library.”

On Friday, tune into the shortlist episode of Read Smart, the Baillie Gifford Prize podcast, where podcast host, BBC’s Razia Iqbal explores each of the 6 shortlisted titles and authors with 2020 judges Martha Kearney, Simon Ings and Max Strasser. Read Smart is available on Spotify, Apple PodcastsSoundcloudStitcher and Entale.

The winner of the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction will be announced in a virtual celebration on Tuesday 24 November.

The podcast series and awards dinner is generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.