LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Biographies of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, Otto von Bismarck and Roald Dahl are just some of the 18 books chosen for the long list to contest the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
The winner of the 20,000-pound ($32,620) prize for books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts will be announced on July 6 and a short list will appear on June 14.
The 18 titles on the long list range widely in interest and subject matter, including a provocative exploration of how culture affects language; the history of a family told through 264 ivory and wood carvings and a non-fiction thriller of a horrific crime and subsequent trial in Japan.
“After some intense and robust debate, and only small amounts of bloodshed, we have come up with a long list that reflects the extraordinary quality and range of the books published in this stellar year for non-fiction,” Ben Macintyre, chair of the judges said in a statement.
The full long list follows:
“Tolstoy” by Rosamund Bartlett
“Afgantsy” by Rodric Braithwaite
“Through the Language Glass” by Guy Deutscher
“The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund De Waal
“Mao’s Great Famine” by Frank Diktter
“Caravaggio” by Andrew Graham Dixon
“Liberty’s Exiles” by Maya Jasanoff
“Capitalism 4.0” by Anatole Kaletsky
“Scott-land: The Man Who Invented a Nation” by Stuart Kelly
“People Who Eat Darkness” by Richard Lloyd Parry
“The Bridge” by David Remnick
“The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley
“Bismarck: A Life” by Jonathan Steinberg
“Reprobates” by John Stubbs
“Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl” by Donald Sturrock
“Bomber County” by Daniel Swift
“Sex Before the Sexual Revolution” by Simon Szreter and Kate Fisher
“Amexica: War Along The Borderline” by Ed Vulliamy
Reporting by Paul Casciato, editing by Patricia Reaney