Friday, 1 August 2008

Winner of the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for 2008

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or The Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale, a pacy analysis of a murder case in a Wiltshire country house in 1860, is the winner of the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for 2008.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Samuel Johnson Prize. Sponsored by BBC Four, it celebrates diverse and thought-provoking writing in non-fiction. The prize covers current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. The competition is open to authors of any nationality whose work is published in the UK in English. The prize is the world’s richest non-fiction prize and is worth £30,000 to the winner. The other titles shortlisted for the award were
"Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart" by Tim Butcher – a recreation of HM Stanley's famous expedition through the Congo;
"Crow Country" by Mark Cocker - a prose poem which pieces together the complexities of the inner lives of rooks and jackdaws;
"The Whisperers" by Orlando Figes - the hidden histories of the ordinary people who lived under Stalin's tyranny;
"The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul" by Patrick French - a luminous account of one of the most compelling literary figures of the last 50 years;
"The Rest is Noise" by Alex Ross - a sweeping musical history, from the salons of pre-war Vienna to Velvet Underground shows in the 60s.

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