Svetlana Alexievich, Margo Jefferson up for nonfiction prize

AP News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2016 7:02 PM

LONDON (AP) — Books about life in the Soviet Union, a black writer's childhood in postwar Chicago and one man's attempt to live like a badger are among contenders for Britain's leading literary award for nonfiction.

The 10 books longlisted for the 30,000-pound ($39,000) Baillie Gifford Prize include "Second-hand Time," by Belarusian Nobel literature laureate Svetlana Alexievich, Margo Jefferson's memoir "Negroland," and Charles Foster's "Being a Beast."

Other contenders announced Tuesday include Libyan writer Hisham Matar's quest to discover his father's fate, "The Return"; Simon Ings' Soviet history "Stalin and the Scientists"; and Siddhartha Mukherjee's study of the building blocks of life, "The Gene."

Formerly called the Samuel Johnson Prize, the award recognizes English-language nonfiction from any country.

Six finalists will be announced Oct. 17, and the winner unveiled Nov. 15 in London.