The UK’s £62,000 Baillie Gifford Prize Names Its 2022 Longlist


The Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction will award £50,000 to its winner in November, with a shortlist due October 10.

Image: Baillie Gifford Prize

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Seven authors on the longlist are British

Iin the overgrown jungle of book and publishing awards based in the UK, Publish Perspectives Readers know that the Baillie-Gifford Prize is one of the most lucrative awards for non-fiction, along with the Cundill History Prize; the renamed British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding (formerly the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize); and the German Non-Fiction Prize.

The Baillie Gifford’s top prize for its winner is £50,000 (US$56,320) and each of the 12 shortlisted authors will receive £1,000 (US$1,127) for a total of £62,000 in prize money.

This morning’s longlist announcement (September 22) includes four authors in their first publications: Andrea Elliott; Thomas Halliday; Sally Hayden; and Matt Rowland Hill. All dozens of authors here are also newcomers to the awards, not returnees. Seven authors on the longlist are British.

Many will note the timely addition of American author and Harvard professor Caroline Elkins to this longlist. Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire (Penguin Random House/Bodley Head, March).

Speaking to Caroline Houck on Vox during the funeral rites for Queen Elizabeth II, Elkins said: “What we do know is that with King Charles III. there can be no question of plausible denial.

“Given the calls for a broader Imperial reckoning across the Empire, based on a plethora of protests and petitions from formerly colonized humans, as well as the wealth of evidence that people like me have presented, he can’t dodge it.

“So the question becomes: will he break with tradition, with his mother’s legacy, as a gatekeeper of sorts to a unique history of the British Empire’s state of emergency?”

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This debate on the era of decolonization and Elizabeth’s “gatekeeping” of the “British State of Emergency” is seen by many as long overdue, and many observers and academics now insist the time has come for transparency, scrutiny and inquiry.

Maya Jasanoff is another author in this field and was honored for her with the Cundill History Prize – one of Baillie Gifford’s sister prize programs for socially relevant non-fiction The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World– by Penguin Random House in Canada and Great Britain and by HarperCollins in the USA. she New York Times The op-ed Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire (September 8) was part of the debate about what Jasanoff notes as “the end of an era” in which “we may never know what the Queen did, or nothing of knew of the crimes being committed in their name.”

And that’s the kind of literary output that the stronger book and publisher awards programs — like the Baillie Gifford and the Cundill — bring to the industry and consumers. It is this value that separates such awards programs from the deep field of so many less relevant, more entertainment-based competitions.

Expected dates for the Baillie Gifford

A shortlist in the Baillie Gifford program is expected on October 10 at England’s Cheltenham Literary Festival, a public event. The winner is then to be chosen at an event at London’s Science Museum on November 17, with the support of the Blavatnik Foundation.

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Last year’s Baillie-Gifford winner was American writer Patrick Radden Keefe Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynastyissued by Pan Macmillans Picador in the UK and the PRH imprint Doubleday in the United States.

The books on this longlist were selected from an initial pool of 362 titles published between November 1st and October 31st of this year. This time the jurors are the author and co-editor of The Bookseller, Caroline Sanderson (Chair); author and science journalist Laura Spinney; Critic and Author for The Observer, Rachel Cooke; BBC journalist and presenter Clive Myrie; author and New Yorker Writer, Samanth Subramanian; and critic and broadcaster Georgina Godwin.

The 2022 Baillie Gifford Prize Longlist
title author Publisher and/or imprint
legacy of violence: A History of the British Empire Caroline Elkins (American) Penguin Random House / Bodley Head / Vintage
Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City Andrea Elliott (American) Penguin Random House / Hutchinson Heinemann / Cornerstone
The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World Jonathan Freedland (British) Hachette/John Murray Press
Otherlands: A World in the Making Thomas Halliday (British) Penguin Random House / Allen Lane / Penguin Press
Dinner with Joseph Johnson: Books and Friendship in a Revolutionary Age Daisy Hay (British) Penguin Random House / Chatto and Windus / Vintage
My Fourth Time We Drowned: Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route Sally Hayden (Irish) HarperCollins / 4th Stand
Original Sins: A Memoir Matt Rowland Hill (British) Penguin Random House / Chatto and Windus / Vintage
The Restless Republic: Britain without a crown Anna Keay (British) HarperCollins/WilliamCollins
A Happy Wife: The Story of a Country Doctor Polly Morland (British) Pan Macmillan / Picador
The barefoot woman Scholastique Mukasonga (French/Rwanda), translated by Jordan Stump Daunt Books Publishing / Daunt Originals
Super Infinite: The Transformations by John Donne Katherine Rundell (British) Faber & Faber
Kingdom of Characters: A Tale of Language, Obsession, and Genius in Modern China Jing Tsu (American) Penguin Random House / Allen Lane / Penguin Press
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The Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Prize is open to writers of all nationalities and includes non-fiction books in the fields of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 168th awards report, published in the 176 days since we began operations in 2022 on January 3rd.


You can find more from Publishing Perspectives about the publishing industry and book awards here, more about the UK market here, more about the Baillie Gifford Prize here and more about non-fiction here.

MYou can find out more about the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing here.

About the author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a Non-Resident Fellow of Trends Research & Advisory and was named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously Associate Editor for The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson has been a senior producer and anchor at CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute) he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for writers now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.





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