The Baillie Gifford Prize Shortlist 2016
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, 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'.
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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 literary form by combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, Alexievich creates a magnificent requiem to a civilization in ruins, a brilliant, poignant and unique portrait of post-Soviet society out of the stories of ordinary women and men.
When human rights lawyer Philippe Sands received an invitation to deliver a lecture in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, he began to uncover a series of extraordinary historical coincidences.
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It set him on a quest that would take him halfway around the world in an exploration of the origins of international law and the pursuit of his own secret family history, beginning and ending with the last day of the Nuremberg trial.
Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize this is part-historical detective story, part-family history and part-legal thriller. Philippe Sands guides us between past and present as several interconnected stories unfold in parallel.
The daughter of a successful paediatrician and a fashionable socialite, Margo Jefferson spent her childhood among Chicago's black elite.
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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 civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of post-racial America - Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions in this book that has been shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize.
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and Costa Biography Award 2016, this is an extraordinary memoir of a son's search for his father and the return to a homeland he never thought he'd see again.
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Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Gaddafi, Hisham was finally able to return to his homeland for the first time.
In this heartbreaking, illuminating memoir he describes his return to a country and a family he thought he would never see again. The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale of loss. It is an exquisite meditation on history, politics and art. It's the story of what it is to be human.