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Festival America launches with Cundill History Prize Shortlist Announcement
London's inaugural festival of North American literature launches with the announcement of 2018's Cundill History Prize Shortlist
Festival America launched in London today with the announcement of this year's shortlist for the 2018 Cundill History Prize.
The world leading history prize, run by Canada's prestigious McGill University in Montreal, honors the vision of its founder, McGill University alumnus F. Peter Cundill, a globe trotting philanthropist who was one of the most highly regarded global investors of his time.
Celebrating well-written works of history, the award's winner will receive a prize of US$75,000, with two runners up receiving US$10,000 each.
The shortlist's announcement coincided with the launch of London's inaugural Festival America, a celebration of North American literature that's taking place right here, this week, in central London. Talks featuring North American authors are taking place in venues including Waterstones Trafalgar Square, Canada House and the Quebec Government Office through to Thursday September 27. The fitting introduction saw a number of books with American links announced as part of the shortlist, including iconic Pulitzer-prize winning writer Ron Chernow's epic biography of Ulysses S. Grant. Fellow Putlizer-prize winner writers on the shortlist include Anne Applebaum, whose book Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine made the shortlist, and David I. Kertzer, who has been shortlisted for his book, The Pope Who Would Be King.
The authors and their works have been selected by the prize's eminent jury of historians. Mark Gilbert, Chair of the Jury, commented that "The eight books we have chosen - by historians working at the height of their powers - range across cultural, political, social history and biography. What unites them all is the craftsmanship of their authors: their dedication to unravelling the past and making it come alive for a contemporary audience."
The full shortlist can be found below. The three finalists of the Cundill History Prize will be announced in Toronto on October 31, with the winner to be revealed at the Cundill History Prize Gala in Montreal on November 15.
In the mean time, North American literature can be enjoyed and explored during Festival America in London. Check out what's on by going to festivalamerica.co.uk/.
Cundill History Prize Shortlist 2018:
Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine
Prairie Fires - The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Behemoth - A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World
A Deadly Legacy - German Jews and the Great War
The Dawn Watch - Joseph Conrad in a Global World
David I. Kertzer
The Pope Who Would Be King - The Exile of Pius IX and The Emergence of Modern Europe
A Cold Welcome - The Little Ice Age and Europe's Encounter with North America