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‘All That She Carried’ wins 2022 Cundill History Prize

Harvard professor Tiya Miles has won the 2022 Cundill History Prize, worth US$75,000 (A$110,000), for All That She Carried: The journey of Ashley’s sack, a Black family keepsake (Tiya Miles, Random House).

All That She Carried tells the story of an enslaved mother and her daughter, tracing the lives of three generations of Black women through one object: a cotton sack. Miles’ winning book, and the two runners-up, were chosen from shortlists announced in September.

The book was unanimously chosen by the judges as this year’s winner. Judge J R McNeill said: ‘All That She Carried is the winner, in a field of superb books, because of its clear and moving prose, its imaginative research, and the way the author illuminates the human condition through a family story.

‘The world of enslaved women in the Antebellum South is, by the standards of US history, extremely poorly documented, but Miles has risen to that challenge in ways that show the best of the historian’s craft,’ McNeill said. ‘For me, the vividness and immediacy of the writing is the strongest suit of this powerful book.’

Administered by McGill University in Montreal, the Cundill Prize is awarded annually to an individual from any country for a book that has had or is likely to have ‘a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history’.

The winner of last year’s award was Marjoleine Kars for Blood on the River (The New Press).

For more information about the Cundill Prize, visit the website.


Category: International news