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Laqueur, Wulf and Wootton make shortlist for Cundill historical book prize

October 06, 2016 - 2:14 PM

MONTREAL - Books about our relationship with the dead and the history of environmentalism are in the running for a lucrative prize for non-fiction historical literature.

The Canadian-based Cundill prize announced a shortlist including Berkeley, Calif., professor Thomas Laqueur for his book "The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains" (Princeton University Press) and London-based Andrea Wulf for her biography, "The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World" (Alfred A. Knopf, John Murray Publishers).

Also making the cut was "The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution" (HarperCollins), by British author and history professor David Wootton, who is based in York, England.

They're up for a grand prize of US$75,000 and two runners-up prizes, each worth US$10,000.

The international prize was established in 2008 by McGill University alumnus F. Peter Cundill, who died in January 2011. It's awarded annually to an individual who has published a book that has made "a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history."

The winner will be announced Nov. 17 in Toronto.

Prize chair Antonia Maioni, also dean of McGill's Faculty of Arts, said the three books "combine tremendous erudition, insight and elan."

"These are books that engage and hold their readers' attention from the first page to the last," Maioni said in a release.



News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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