Baillie Gifford Prize for Non Fiction

The Baillie Gifford Prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of any nationality. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

Formerly known as The Samuel Johnson Prize (1999 – 2015) it is the most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK, worth £30,000 to the winner. The overall winner will be announced on Tuesday 15 November. 

2016 Shortlisted titles

Second-Hand Time - Svetlana Alexievich

Second-hand Time is the latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for inventing 'a new kind of literary genre'.Here she brings together the voices of dozens of witnesses to the collapse of the USSR in a formidable attempt to chart the disappearance of a culture and to surmise what new kind of man may emerge from the rubble.Fashioning a singular, polyphonic...



Negroland : A Memoir - Margo Jefferson

The daughter of a successful paediatrician and a fashionable socialite, Margo Jefferson spent her childhood among Chicago's black elite.She calls this society 'Negroland': 'a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty'.With privilege came expectation. Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments -...



The Return : Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between - Hisham Matar

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2016 The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale.It is an exquisite meditation on how history and politics can bear down on an individual life. And yet Hisham Matar's memoir isn't just about the burden of the past, but the consolation of love, literature and art.It is the story of what it is to be human. Hisham Matar...



East West Street : On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity - Philippe, QC Sands

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE AND SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY AWARD 'A monumental achievement: profoundly personal, told with love, anger and great precision' - John le Carre 'A triumph of astonishing research ...No novel could possibly match such an important work of truth' - Antony Beevor 'Magnificent ...I was moved to anger and to pity.In places I gasped, in places I...