Orwell Prize reveals 2015 shortlists

The Orwell Prize, presented annually to political books and journalism that come closest to realising George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’, has revealed its 2015 shortlists.

Nominated for this year’s Book Prize are: Rana Dasgupta’s Capital (Canongate), a study of Delhi’s capitalist transformation in the first fifteen years of the 21st century; Nick Davies’ Hack Attack (Chatto & Windus), an account of the author’s efforts to expose the News of the World phone hacking scandal; Dan Davies’ In Plain Sight (Quercus), a biography of Jimmy Savile begun before Savile’s death and dealing with the subsequent discovery of his predatory nature; David Kynaston’s Modernity Britain (Bloomsbury), examining the Britain of the late 1950s; James Meek’s Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else (Verso), exploring the impact of the privatisation of Britain’s public services over the last three decades; and Louisa Lim’s The People’s Republic of Amnesia (Oxford University Press), a chronicle of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, when People’s Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on hundreds of unarmed civilians in Beijing.

The Book Prize is this year judged by Guardian and Observer books editor Claire Armitstead, author Gillian Slovo and former Labour MP turned academic Tony Wright. The award of £3,000 will be presented on 21 May. Last year’s prize was won by Labour MP Alan Johnson for his memoir This Boy.

Nominated for the Journalism Prize, meanwhile, are The Economist’s Rosie Blau, The Guardian’s Martin Chulov, freelancer Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi (whose work has appeared in OpenDemocracy, Lacuna and the New Statesman), The Daily Telegraph’s Mary Riddell, freelancer Peter Ross (whose work has appeared in Scotland on Sunday and The Guardian), and The Independent’s Kim Sengupta.

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