Gift Ideas: Longlisted, Shortlisted and Prize-winning Authors

• Dec 19, 2012 •

Still searching for that perfect gift? Look no further. 4th Estate is home to many longlisted, shortlisted and prize-winning authors and you can rest assured that whoever you’re buying for will be thrilled to unwrap these amazing reads.

Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies have each won the prestigious Booker Prize – quite a recommendation!  Mantel brings history to life like no other author and the books give vivid and scintillating insights into the life of Henry VIII and Tudor England, as seen through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell. Sir Peter Stothard, chairman of the Man Booker Prize, hailed Mantel as ‘the greatest English prose writer eligible for the prize’, who had ‘rewritten the book on writing historical fiction’. These breath-taking books are sure to be gratefully received.

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science was shortlisted for the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize. This hilarious yet alarming bestseller took on pseudo-scientific reporting and the questionable science which lay behind many of the infamous court cases, drug trials, and missed opportunities of our time. In his second book, Bad Pharma, hailed in The Daily Telegraph as ‘a work of brilliance’, Goldacre shifts his focus to the pharmaceutical industry – exposing the truth about badly conducted trials, hidden results and the effects this has on everyone, including you.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007.  It tells the gripping story of two sisters, a houseboy, and a professor, as their lives are torn apart by the Nigerian-Biafran War in the late 1960s. At times harrowing, yet full of exuberance and ambition, this is a truly moving read. Adichie beautifully depicts the struggle to survive, to love, and to maintain hope when surrounded by devastation. “A worthy successor to such twentieth-century classics as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River” (Joyce Carol Oates), this is a book that will be treasured by any recipient.

Having won both the Guardian First Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction, and been shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize in 2011, Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee’s examination of cancer has established itself as a book to be reckoned with. Mukherjee tells the story of cancer, the disease that has played a huge part in humans’ lives – and deaths – for thousands of years. The result is a terrifying yet inspiring look at the foolishness, innovation and resilience that humans show when dealing with their own bodies.

Joan Didion has been widely recognized as one of America’s most powerful writers: she has been awarded honorary Doctor of Letters degrees from both Harvard and Yale University as well as multiple prizes. Treat yourself or a loved one to The Year of Magical Thinking, winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2005.  Didion’s brilliant autobiographical exploration of bereavement and grief in her family life is ‘ultimately, and unexpectedly for a book about illness and death… a wonderfully life affirming book’ (Observer). Her latest work, Blue Nights, describes Didion’s experiences dealing with the death of her husband and daughter, in devastatingly honest, beautifully written prose. Although intensely personal, Didion’s books are essential reading for any who have loved and lost.

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