Pieces of Light has been shortlisted for the 2013 Best Book of Ideas Prize. The prize is sponsored by Foyles and administered by the Bristol Festival of Ideas. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 20 May.
Here’s the full press release:
The shortlist for the 2013 Foyles/ Festival of Ideas Best Book of Ideas was announced today. The prize – worth £5,000 – is awarded to the book first published in the UK by a British author in 2012 which presents new, important and challenging ideas, which is rigorously argued, and which is engaging and accessible.
The six shortlisted books are:
Nick Cohen You Can’t Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom (Fourth Estate)
Charles Fernyhough Pieces of Light: The New Science of Memory (Profile Books)
Eliane Glaser Get Real: How to Tell it Like it is in a World of Illusions (Fourth Estate)
Ben Goldacre Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (Fourth Estate)
Robert Macfarlane The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Hamish Hamilton)
Ali Smith Artful (Hamish Hamilton)
The winner will be announced on 20 May 2013 at the awards evening that forms part of the ninth Bristol Festival of Ideas.
Jasper Sutcliffe, Head of Buying for Foyles, sponsor of the award, said today:
‘This list reflects the tremendous quality of contemporary British non-fiction, the type of writing that will keep the gears of your brain working long after you have absorbed the arguments. These writers are not afraid to engage with their subject from a personal level, and to use an imaginative approach to their work that challenges even the best writers of narrative fiction.’
The judges for the award are writer and broadcaster Bidisha, Andrew Kelly, director of Bristol Festival of Ideas, writer and broadcaster Sian Norris, and Professor Peter Rawlings, Head, Department of Arts, University of the West of England.
Andrew Kelly said today:
‘This is an exceptional list which shows that British writers remain at the forefront of debate: from nature writing to bad medicine, the way we live today to death and immortality, from the natural world to the freedom to write and speak, these books fizz with ideas and deserve wide reading and debate.’
The previous winners of the award are:
2009 Nick Davies Flat Earth News
2010 Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
2011 Dan Hind The Return of the Public
2012 Michael Symmonds and Paul Farley Edgelands