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Bristol graduate makes book-prize shortlist

Misha Glenny

Misha Glenny Dave Pratt

Dave Pratt

26 February 2009

Journalist and Bristol graduate, Misha Glenny, has been shortlisted for the first Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize.

Glenny’s book on international crime, entitled McMafia, is one of six books selected from more than 100 entries to make it to the shortlist of one of the largest book prizes in the UK. The Festival of Ideas Book Prize – worth £10,000 – is awarded annually to a book that presents new, important and challenging ideas, is rigorously argued, and is engaging and accessible.

The shortlist comprises:

  • Flat Earth News by Nick Davies (Vintage Books)
  • The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi (Atlantic Books )
  • McMafia by Misha Glenny (Vintage Books)
  • The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes (HarperPress)
  • What Does China Think? by Mark Leonard (Fourth Estate)
  • A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland (Granta Books).

Andrew Kelly, Director of the Bristol Festival of Ideas and chair of the judging panel, commented: ‘We are delighted with the shortlist. We have Nick Davies’s detailed and honest account of the state of contemporary media; Susan Faludi’s revealing story of America after 9/11 and American history; Misha Glenny’s horrific overview of international crime; Richard Holmes wonderful survey of romantic science; Mark Leonard’s eye-opening story of new thinking in China; and Sara Maitland’s meditation on the importance and potential of silence.’

He added: ‘All of these books not only report on a particular issue or moment in time, but also have wider implications for the world today and tomorrow. All are worthy winners of the award. It will be a challenging decision for the judges to make.’

The prize is awarded in association with Arts & Business and Blackwell bookshops. James Taljaard of Arts & Business said: ‘Ideas are essential to the prosperity of the arts and business in the UK. We are delighted to support this prize as it is about celebrating and promoting the best thinking internationally.’

The judging panel comprises Julian Baggini, freelance philosopher, author, journalist and commentator; Jerry Cowhig, science publisher and Managing Director of IOP Publishing, Bristol; Sara Davies, Executive Producer, BBC Radio 4; Professor Paul Gough, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Creative Arts and Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of the West of England, Bristol; and Andrew Kelly, Director of Bristol Festival of Ideas, author and commentator.

The winner will be announced on 5 May 2009 at the Bristol Festival of Ideas. The books will be promoted in Blackwell UK stores in March and April.

Bristol Festival of Ideas, an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, takes place annually in May with special events throughout the year. Many of the events are run in collaboration with the University of Bristol. Further details can be found on the website.

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