Created by the Orwell Foundation, the £ 3,000 prize is intended to recognize books that best meet Orwell’s ambition to “make political writing an art”. Lynskey’s Ministry of Truth, which traces the origins of 1990 to the time when Orwell spent fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, runs up against 11 other titles. These include The Windrush Betrayal by Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman, Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, on the gender gap, and memories of poet Kate Clanchy as teacher, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me.
“None of us think about life the way we were a few weeks ago. Politics is also very different, ”admitted the head of Bloomberg Economics and the president of the judges, Stephanie Flanders.
“But the books on this year’s long list are not about ordinary politics. In fact, most do not relate to mainstream politics at all. They are, however, political in the most important sense: they shed new light on something that matters and perhaps inspire us to think about how things could be better. “
Also in the running for the award, Maoism: A Global History by Julia Lovell, Robert Macfarlane’s journey around the world under our feet, Underland, and Azadeh Moaveni’s survey of women in IS, Guest House for Young Widows.
Flanders added that the 12 books were also “a good and satisfying read… Surely we need them more than ever”.
The long list for the Orwell prize of £ 3,000 for political fiction was also announced Wednesday, ranging from Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport, a stream of conscience from a middle-aged woman in Ohio, to a daughter, wife, other and winner of Booker-winner by Bernardine Evaristo. Attica Locke’s Heaven, My Home, in which a black Texas Ranger investigates the disappearance of the son of a white supremacist. Nine of the 13 titles selected are written by women.
Fiction Prize Judge President Jude Kelly said programming “pays tribute to the writer’s voice’s ability to absorb political power structures and give them back to us in stories of personal identity , community tensions, the impact of the long tail of history on the present and the emerging strength of women to define what “political” means. “
Short lists will be announced in mid-May and winners will be announced on June 25, Orwell’s birthday.
Orwell Prize for the Long List of Political Writing 2020
Soothe Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Warpath by Tim Bouverie (Bodley Head)
Some children I have taught and what they have taught me from Kate Clanchy (Picador)
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Biases in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez (Chatto & Windus)
Windrush’s Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment by Amelia Gentleman (Guardian Faber)
Follow me, Akhi: the online world of British Muslims by Hussein Kesvani (Hurst)
Maoism: a world story by Julia Lovell (Bodley Head)
The Ministry of Truth: a 1984 biography of George Orwell by Dorian Lynskey (Picador)
Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton)
Guest house for young widows: among the women of Isis by Azadeh Moaveni (Scribe)
Margaret Thatcher – Herself Alone: Authorized Biography Vol Three of Charles Moore (Allen Lane)
Winter of the Kremlin: Russia and the second coming of Vladimir Putin by Robert Service (Picador)
The era of surveillance capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (Profile)
Orwell Prize for the Long List of Political Fiction 2020
This Paradise by Ruby Cowling (Boiler House Press)
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann (Galley Beggar Press)
Daughter, woman, other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton)
John Lanchester’s wall (Faber & Faber)
Ben Lerner’s Topeka School (Granta)
The man who saw it all by Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton)
Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke (Serpent’s Tail)
In Calais, in ordinary times by James Meek (Canongate)
Daughter of Edna O’Brien (Faber & Faber)
Travelers from Regina Porter (Jonathan Cape)
Broken Jaw by Minoli Salgado (The 87 Press)
Spring by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Fleet)