Three Jewish authors have been longlisted for the £30,000 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2017, with one more entry dealing with a Jewish theme.
Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, an account of the deliberate starvation of the Ukrainian people under the USSR, has been nominated alongside Daniel Mendelsohn’s An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic Poem, a meditation on the father-son relationship through the lens of Homer’s seminal work, and Simon Schama’s The Story of The Jews: Belonging, which spans more than four centuries and several continents in an extensive work of Jewish history.
Caroline Moorehead’s A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Rosselis and the Fight Against Mussolini explores a Jewish family’s remarkable resistance to another regime.
A total of 12 writers are on the list, which was announced on Friday.
“Two sweaty hours in a small room… but eventually white smoke. We’re really excited about this longlist,” says chair of judges Sir Peter Bazalgette. “We’ve got history, science, biography, polemic and memoir. But two things link them all – they’re wonderfully well-written and they’re really contemporary.”
According to the organisers, the books under consideration reflect the extreme nature of much of modern life and our preoccupations with boundaries and identities.