The Orwell Prizes 2021 longlist was announced last Friday. Longlists for all the four categories – The Political Writing, Political Fiction, Journalism, and Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, have been announced. According to the official announcement, the winners will be announced, as always, on June 25, the birthday of George Orwell aka Eric Arthur Blair.
The Orwell Prize for Political Writing
The longlist for The Orwell Prize for Political Writing includes 13 books written last year. The theme of this category is the value and vulnerability of truth, from restoring forgotten histories to the consequences of widespread mistrust in our institutions. The panel of jury for The Orwell Prize for Political Writing include:
Anand Menon (chair) – Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at Kings College London
Angela Saini – award-winning journalist and broadcaster
Richard Ekins – Professor of Law and Constitutional Government at the University of Oxford
Rosemary Goring – author and columnist with the Herald and the Sunday Herald
The list includes:
- Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends by Anne Applebaum (Allen Lane)
- Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care by Madeleine Bunting (Granta)
- Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick (Granta)
- The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination by Richard Evans (Allen Lane)
- Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country by John Kampfner (Atlantic Books)
- Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb (William Collins)
- History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America by Bruno Maçães (Hurst Publishers)
- How Spies Think: 10 Lessons in Intelligence by David Omand (Viking)
- African Europeans: An Untold History by Olivette Otele (Hurst Publishers)
- English Pastoral: An Inheritance by James Rebanks (Allen Lane)
- Recollections of My Non-Existence by Rebecca Solnit (Granta)
- The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery by Michael Taylor (Bodley Head)
- Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition and Compromise in Putin’s Russia by Joshua Yaffa (Granta)
The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction
The 2021 longlist for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction includes 12 novels published last year. This genre of the Orwell prizes involves social and political themes, that challenge the narratives established by propaganda. Four judges for this year for political fiction are:
Delia Jarrett-Macauley (chair) – author, broadcaster, academician and a former winner of The Orwell Prize for Moses, Citizen and Me
Andrea Stuart – the historian and writer
Bea Carvalho – head fiction buyer at Waterstones
Mark Ford – Professor at University College London, author and poet.
Novels included in the longlist Political Fiction are:
- Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Bloomsbury)
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Dialogue Books)
- The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (Faber)
- A Lover’s Discourse by Xialou Guo (Chatto & Windus)
- Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Bloomsbury)
- Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury)
- Summerwater by Sarah Moss (Picador)
- Weather by Jenny Offill (Granta)
- The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (Peepal Tree Press)
- Rodham by Curtis Sittenfield (Transworld)
- Summer by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Picador)
You can read the details for the other two genres in the official announcement.
Who is George Orwell?
Eric Arthur Blair, popularly known by his pen name George Orwell is one of the finest authors of the English language, and arguably the greatest writer of dystopian fiction. He is the author of two of the most widely read political novels – Animal Farm, and 1984. Orwellian literature is considered to be a lens of viewing and analyzing political scenarios across the globe. The basic fascist and dystopian principles portrayed in his writings are prevalent even today, which makes him probably the most important British author of the 20th century.
Noman is a literature expert, news analyst, and content creator. When not writing news and other content for clients, he likes to read novels and talk about them. Born and raised in a ghetto of Mumbai, he is vocal about the social issues facing the slums and his community. Noman is the co-founder of Bombay Reads, a platform where he likes to write and discuss books.