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The British Academy Announce the 2023 Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding

The shortlist for The British Academy’s Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding has been announced.

Now in its 11th year, the international book prize, worth £25,000, rewards and celebrates ground-breaking research-based works of non-fiction that have made an outstanding contribution to the public understanding of world cultures and the ways in which they interconnect.

This year’s esteemed jury of academics and journalists has chosen a shortlist of six exceptional books from almost 200 submissions, introducing readers to a wide range of globally significant topics such as:

  • the invention of books and libraries in the ancient world
  • the early use of photography to document colonial conflict
  • the role of ritual in human civilisation
  • China’s Cultural Revolution
  • a retelling of the story of global emancipation
  • the origins of empire in India.

The Shortlist

Chair of this year’s jury Professor Charles Tripp, Fellow of the British Academy comments:

This eleventh year of the British Academy Book Prize has attracted record numbers of entries from across the humanities and social sciences. We were greatly impressed by the exceptional quality of writing in this year’s shortlist and the ability of the authors to unearth extraordinary new discoveries and to find new perspectives on old perceptions. With my fellow jury members, we hope that readers will be inspired to explore the shortlist and thereby to discover something new about the world.

Get involved

The 2023 shortlisted writers will be brought together for a special event on Monday 30 October at the British Academy, in partnership with London Review Bookshop, and chaired by the award-winning journalist Rosie Goldsmith. The event is free but booking is required. Get your tickets here

The winner of the £25,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony on Tuesday 31 October. Each of the shortlisted writers will receive £1,000 and will be livestreamed.

Have you read any of the shortlisted books? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and Instagram, or click on the title above to leave a review.

For more information, visit the British Academy Website

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