The finalists for the 2023 Orwell Prizes have been announced with 45 outstanding works of non-fiction, fiction and reporting nominated across five categories.
Authors including Barbara Kingsolver, Caleb Azumah Nelson and Emily Kenway have been shortlisted for the Orwell Prizes for Political Writing and Political Fiction. Seventeen books have been shortlisted for the two book prizes, including eight works of fiction and nine non-fiction titles.
The Orwell Festival – the Orwell Foundation’s annual celebration of the most important and imaginative writing and reporting – kicks off in Bloomsbury and online, on 6th June, with a number of finalists making an appearance alongside special guests including Succession’s Jesse Armstrong. The full schedule and booking can be found on the Orwell Festival website.
According to the foundation, the winners of the 2023 Orwell Prizes will be revealed at the Prize Ceremony in central London on 22nd June 2023.
The following authors are finalists in the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2023 category: Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking), Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (Granta), Bournville by Jonathan Coe (Viking), The New Life by Tom Crewe (Chatto and Windus), A House for Alice by Diana Evans (Chatto and Windus) and The Story of the Forest by Linda Grant (Virago). Others are: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (Faber) and After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz (Galley Beggar)
Boyd Tonkin, chair of judges for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2023, said: “This is a list of finalists packed with vital, urgent stories delivered by hugely gifted storytellers. The eight novels we have chosen encompass the political life of people in society on many levels, and from many angles. “From quests for sexual and emotional freedom, and the struggle for true fulfilment against daily prejudice and injustice, to the abuse of corporate power and the fate of the embattled Earth itself, their authors confront the deepest fears and hopes that drive individuals and communities today. They do so, just as George Orwell would have wished, not by preaching, lecturing or veiled propaganda but in engrossing narratives full of wonder, surprise, delight, tragedy and comedy. We hope that you read, and enjoy, all of them.”
The other categories are: Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2023 , The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness 2023, sponsored by the Centre for Homelessness Impact, The Orwell Prize for Journalism 2023, and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2023