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‘Chernobyl’ wins 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction

Ukrainian-American author and historian Serhii Plokhy has won the £30,000 (A$53,880) 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction for his book Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy (Allen Lane).

Chosen from a shortlist of six, Plokhy’s history of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster ‘shows how the deeper roots of Chernobyl lay in the nature of the Soviet political system and the flaws of its nuclear industry’. Plokhy is one of two American authors shortlisted for the prize, which is open to authors of any nationality.

Chair of judges Fiammetta Rocco described the book as a ‘horror story’ and an ‘unprecedented retelling of a familiar disaster’, adding: ‘This extraordinary account leaves you wondering: could the narrowly missed nuclear Armageddon of Chernobyl happen again, with even worse consequences?’

Formerly known as the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Baillie Gifford is the most prestigious UK award for nonfiction that covers the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. For more information about the prize, visit the website.

 

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Category: International news