Entertainment & Arts

Christopher Hitchens makes Orwell shortlist

Christopher Hitchens
Image caption Hitchens was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer last year

Prominent writer Christopher Hitchens and former law lord Tom Bingham have made the shortlist for the prestigious Orwell Prize for political writing.

Hitchens is recognised for his memoirs Hitch-22, while Bingham makes the grade for The Rule of Law.

A shortlist of six was whittled down from 213 books by this year's judging panel, which included Radio 4's James Naughtie.

The winner, who will collect £3,000, will be announced on 17 May.

The other shortlisted authors include Oliver Bullough for Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus, about Russia's role in the history of conflict in the Caucasu and Helen Dunmore's novel The Betrayal, a sequel to The Siege about the siege of Leningrad.

Afsaneh Moqadam's Death to the Dictator! about the political state in Iran and DR Thorpe's Supermac: The life of Harold MacMillan are also in the running.

Orwell Prize director Jean Seaton, said: "There is a recurrent theme in this year's books, and it is very Orwellian: fear."

Prizes will also be given for best blog and best journalism.

The awards are given for the works which come closest to George Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art.".

The prize was founded by the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick in 1993.

Previous winners include Fergal Keane's Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey in 1996.

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