The Baillie Gifford Prize 2021 shortlist announced


Today, live at Cheltenham Literature festival the shortlist for the £50,000 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, was announced.

The titles on this year’s shortlist are:

The prize celebrates the best in non-fiction. Learn more about the 2021 shortlist here.

The shortlist has been chosen by a panel chaired by Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate, alongside award-winning novelist Sara Collins, physicist, oceanographer, writer, and broadcaster Dr. Helen Czerski, historian and author Kathryn Hughes, author and TV and radio presenter Johny Pitts, and historian and writer Dominic Sandbrook.

Andrew Holgate, chair of judges, says:
“I’m not sure I’ve ever been on a judging panel on which I’ve felt so invigorated and excited by the shortlist as I have on this Baillie Gifford Prize panel. Every one of these books is an enveloping read. There’s attack here, deep learning, challenge, keen analysis and revelation, but above all, there is outstanding storytelling, and deep pleasure to be had in reading all six of the books on this list.”

On Friday 22 October, you can listen to the latest episode of Read Smart, The Baillie Gifford Prize podcast. Host Razia Iqbal will be joined by 2020 winner Craig Brown to discuss the past year as a Baillie Gifford Prize winner. Razia will also be to speaking to guests at Cheltenham Literature Festival and get their live reactions to the shortlist. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple PodcastsSoundcloudStitcher, and Entale.

The winner of the 2021 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction will be announced at an event at the Science Museum, generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, on Tuesday 16 November. This announcement will also be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube channels.

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