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Biography Prize 2018 Shortlist

The Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize Shortlist 2018

Slightly Foxed and the Biographers’ Club are delighted to announce the shortlist for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2018.

The prize of £2,500 was awarded on 26 February 2019 with a drinks reception at Maggs Bros. on Bedford Square, London.

Bart van Es, The Cut Out Girl (Penguin, Fig Tree)
A powerful, harrowing story about a young girl’s struggle to survive Nazi persecution, and a man’s attempt to unravel his family secrets.

Michèle Mendelssohn, Making Oscar Wilde (OUP)
This compelling account of Wilde’s rise, fall and resurrection draws on new archives and rare documents to tell the story from an entirely fresh perspective.

Roland Philipps, A Spy Named Orphan (Bodley Head)
This gripping retelling of the life of Soviet spy Donald Maclean reveals a man with an extraordinary appetite for self-destruction.

Fiona Sampson, In Search of Mary Shelley (Profile)
Two hundred years after the writing of the gothic masterpiece, poet Fiona Sampson brings all her considerable skills to a nuanced and revelatory reading of the girl behind that extraordinary creation.

Tara Westover, Educated (Hutchinson)
The unforgettable memoir of escaping from a desperate Mormon fundamentalist childhood in Idaho through books and study – ‘an education’.

The judges for the 2018 prize are Anne Chisholm, Rachel Cooke and Andrew O’Hagan.

  • Anne Chisholm is a writer and critic, and has written biographies of Nancy Cunard and Frances Partridge. She is former Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.
  • Rachel Cooke is a prize-winning journalist, writer and columnist at the Observer and television critic at the New Statesman.
  • Andrew O’Hagan is Editor-at-Large of the London Review of Books and Esquire. He writes fiction and non-fiction, and his most recent book is The Secret Life: Three True Stories.

For more information on the prize, please contact Jennie Harrison Bunning or Stephanie Allen: [email protected]/ 020 7729 9368.

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