The shortlist for the £20,000 Samuel Johnson book prize has been announced. The prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography autobiography and the arts.
There are 6 books in total on the list, with themes as diverse as autism, the digital age and Guantánamo Bay.
· Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life by Jonathan Bate (William Collins).
• Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton).
• The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott (William Heinemann).
• Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently by Steve Silberman (Allen & Unwin).
• The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq by Emma Sky (Atlantic Books).
• This Divided Island by Samantha Subramanian (Atlantic Books).
Titles on the long list were hotly debated before the final list was reached.
Anne Applebaum, chair of the panel, said “We didn’t quite come to blows, but the shortlist meeting was truly contentious,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine how five people sitting in a room on a weekday morning could have disagreed more strongly.”
The winner will be announced on 2 November.