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VS Naipaul biography


There are so many book awards that my head is spinning. It’s another day so here’s another award. The BBC reports on the runners and riders.

An unflattering biography of Nobel- prize winning writer VS Naipaul is among six books shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

The true story of a Victorian murder, a book on the lives of rooks and jackdaws and a chronicle of Stalin’s Russia are also nominated. The winner, to be announced on 15 July, will receive £30,000 – the UK’s biggest prize for non-fiction. Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City won last year.

This year’s nominated writers are Mark Cocker, Orlando Figes, Kate Summerscale, Alex Ross, Tim Butcher, and Patrick French for The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul. The book, which depicts Naipaul as arrogant, egotistical and cruel despite him authorising the work, is tipped as the favourite to win the prize.

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Richard Davies

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