Slum life on Johnson prize list
Friday 05 October 2012
A book about life in an Indian slum and the story of George Mallory's attempt to climb Everest are among the contenders for a prestigious literary prize.
The shortlist of six books in contention for this year's Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction also includes a history of violence and a biography of playwright August Strindberg, but there is no room for Salman Rushdie's memoir Joseph Anton, which made the initial longlist.
MP David Willetts, who chairs the judging panel, said: "The titles on this year's shortlist have all impressed the judges with their originality and high quality of writing. Each of them communicates complex themes, and in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining.
"These are significant books which have the ability to change our view of the world and which we believe will make a lasting contribution to their genres. Their broad range of subject matter reflects the diversity of English-language non-fiction, and has the potential to inspire readers of all interests."
The winner of the prize, which will be announced on 12 November, receives £20,000.
Previous winners include Anthony Beevor's history of Stalingrad and Barbara Demick's Nothing To Envy: Real Lives In North Korea.
Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Slum, by Katherine Boo
Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory And The Conquest of Everest, by Wade Davis
The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot, by Robert Macfarlane
The Better Angels Of Our Nature: A History Of Violence and Humanity, by Steven Pinker
The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition And Extermination In Twentieth-Century Spain, by Paul Preston
Strindberg: A Life, by Sue Prideaux
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest