Guyanese-born American journalist Gaiutra Bahadur’s first book Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, a prestigious British literary award for political writing.
The shortlist consists of six books chosen from 235 entries and seven journalists from 167 entries, a press release said. The prize was set up in honour of George Orwell and the award is given to the book and journalism entry which comes closest to his ambition “to make political writing into an art.” The two £3,000 awards will be announced at a special anniversary party on May 21.
The shortlist reads: Coolie Woman by Gaiutra Bahadur; The Tragedy of Liberation by Frank Dikötter; The World’s Most Dangerous Place by James Fergusson; The British Dream by David Goodhart; This Boy by Alan Johnson and Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography by Charles Moore.
Jane Seaton, the director of the Orwell Prize said, “The shortlist demonstrates the continuing power and resonance of political history. Many of the authors in this shortlist are extremely close to their subjects, both intellectually and personally. This makes for compelling writing that we would be more poorly equipped without.”