PEN/Ackerley Prize for Memoir: 2012 shortlist announced

The shortlisted titles are:

  • Sherard Cowper-ColesCables from Kabul (HarperPress)
  • Duncan FallowellHow to Disappear (Ditto Press)
  • Roger GarfittThe Horseman’s Word (Jonathan Cape)
  • Mirabel OslerThe Rain Tree (Bloomsbury)
  • Brian SewellOutsider: Almost Always, Never Quite (Quartet)

The PEN/Ackerley prize was established in memory of Joe Randolph Ackerley (1896-1967), an author and long-time literary editor of The Listener magazine. The Prize is awarded annually to a literary autobiography of outstanding merit, written by an author of British nationality and published in the UK in the previous year. The 2011 winner was Michael Frayn.

The PEN/Ackerley prize is judged by author and biographer Peter Parker (chair), author and artist Colin Spencer, author Georgina Hammick and historian and biographer Richard Davenport-Hines.

Peter Parker, Chair of the Judges, said:

Forty books were called in by the judges this year, and the sheer range of these titles produced an unusually long longlist. We nevertheless whittled this down to five books which had very little in common apart from the high quality of their writing. They took us into five very different lives and to many different countries, demonstrating once again that in a difficult publishing climate autobiography continues to thrive and throw up all kinds of surprises.

The winner will be announced at the English PEN summer party for members on Wednesday, 18 July.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *