Imprisoned Turkish novelist and journalist Ahmet Altan has been nominated for the £50,000 Baillie Gifford prize for non-fiction with his book titled, “I Will Never See the World Again,” made up of his prison memories, British daily The Guardian reported.
The Guardian’s books reporter Alison Flood wrote “First imprisoned in 2016, Altan received a life sentence in 2018 for sending out ‘subliminal messages in favor of a coup’ on television and attempting to overthrow the government.
Put together from notes given to his lawyers, I Will Never See the World Again reflects that “never again would I be able to kiss the woman I love, embrace my kids, meet with my friends, walk the streets … I would not be able to watch the sunrise,” the paper wrote.
Altan’s memoir is on an eclectic 12-book longlist that ranges from Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman’s exposé The Windrush Betrayal, to Furious Hours, Casey Cep’s investigation into Harper Lee’s attempts to write a true crime story, the report said.
Stig Abell, editor of the Times Literary Supplement and chair of judges, said the panel had “ended up with a long list of books that are by turns provocative, magisterial and beautiful pieces of work”.
“Above all, they are companionable: stories to which you are happy to turn and return, some with contemporary resonances, others that are more timeless,” said Abell. “Going from 12 down to six and then picking a winner is going to be a bit of a challenge.”
The winner of the prize will be announced on 19 November, joining previous winners including Serhii Plokhy, who took the award last year for Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy, Antony Beevor and Jonathan Coe.
Baillie Gifford prize 2019 longlist
I Will Never See the World Again by Ahmet Altan (Granta Books)
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep (William Heinemann)
On Chapel Sands by Laura Cumming (Chatto & Windus)
The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury)
Homesick: Why I Live in a Shed by Catrina Davies (Riverrun)
The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth by William Feaver (Bloomsbury)
The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment by Amelia Gentleman (Guardian Faber)
Maoism: A Global History by Julia Lovell (Vintage)
The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 by Dorian Lynskey (Picador)
Guest House for Young Widows by Azadeh Moaveni (Scribe)
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (Doubleday)
The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina (Vintage)