The longlist for the UK’s foremost award for non-fiction writing, the Samuel Johnson Prize, has been announced. Presented by chair Claire Tomalin – with the obligatory repetition of that dull and nonsensical maxim “fact is stranger and wilder than fiction” – the list is heavy in memoir, but also contains the usual quotient of straight-down-the-line history books, as well as nature writing and contemporary reportage.
The list in full (see links for reviews):
• Marion Coutts, The Iceberg: A Memoir, Atlantic
• Nick Davies, Hack Attack, Random House
• Atul Gawande, Being Mortal, Profile Books
• Greg Grandin, The Empire of Necessity, Oneworld
• Alison Light, Common People, Fig Tree
• Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, Jonathan Cape
• Henry Marsh, Do No Harm, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
• Jonathan Meades, An Encyclopaedia of Myself, 4th Estate
• Caroline Moorehead, Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France, Chatto & Windus
• Adam Nicolson, The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters, William Collins
• Jenny Uglow, In These Times, Faber & Faber
The shortlist will be announced on 9 October, followed by the winner of Tuesday 4 November.