Congratulations to @HelenJMacdonald for Samuel Johnson prize

H IS FOR HAWK / HELEN MACDONALD 9780224097000Helen Macdonald has won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction worth £20,000 with her wonderful book H is For Hawk. It is the first time a memoir has won the award.  Shortlisted books  here.

Claire Tomalin, chair of the judges (MP Alan Johnson, Financial Times books editor Lorien Kite, philosopher Ray Monk and historian Ruth Scurr), said Macdonald ‘s book was “unlike any other”. She also said: “Congratulations to Helen Macdonald, who has written a book unlike any other, about an obsession with a wild creature, brought to life in prose sometimes technical and always striking, and set in English landscapes observed with a visionary eye. Writing about wild life and the environment has never been better or better informed than this.”

H is For Hawk tells the story of how the death of Macdonald’s father triggered her to follow a childhood dream and become a falconer, obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. It is also a biography of the troubled novelist T H White, author of The Goshawk, in which he describes his own struggle to train a hawk.

The Samuel Johnson Prize shortlist 2014

This years’s shortlist of six books for the prestigious Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, worth £20,000 to the winner, has now been announced.

Read all about the shortlisted books

We have them all in stock

 H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald  

 Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin 

Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead

Roy Jenkins by John Campbell

Common People by Alison Light

 The Iceberg: A Memoir by Marion Coutts 

 

All the best stories are true @SJPrize

 Hack attack: the inside story of how one journalist exposed the world's most powerful media mogulThe UK’s most prestigious non-fiction award, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction announced its longlist on 2nd September. The prize is worth £20,000 and aims to reward the best of non-fiction. It’s open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

Memoirs feature strongly with the personal experiences of John Carey, Marion Coutts, Helen Macdonald, Henry Marsh, Jonathan Meades and Ben Watt accounting for six of the 15 chosen titles. Five titles on the longlist are concerned with history and there’s just one biography – John Campbell’s study of politician Roy Jenkins.

Claire Tomalin chairs the judges with Alan Johnson MP, Financial Times books editor Lorien Kite, philosopher Ray Monk and historian Ruth Scurr on the panel. 

Jacket ImageThe shortlist will be announced on Thursday 9 October and the winner on Tuesday 4 November. 

Current 3/1 favourite is H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald –  ‘The record of a spiritual journey – an unflinchingly honest account of the author’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming.’ 

 Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

The Mighty Dead: Why Homer matters by Adam Nicolson ( 5* rating from a Leeds reader)

Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin 

Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead

Common people: the history of an English familyHack Attack by Nick Davies

Roy Jenkins by John Campbell

God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England by Jessie Childs

Common People by Alison Light

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An Encyclopaedia of Myself by Jonathan Meades

 The Iceberg: A Memoir by Marion Coutts 

In These Times by Jenny Uglow – on order

The Unexpected Professor by John Carey

Romany and Tom: A memoir by Ben Watt