David Grann and Siddhartha Mukherjee are among contenders for a prestigious nonfiction prize


LONDON (AP) — Books about the perilous state of our world, our food and our relationship with technology are in the running for Britain’s leading nonfiction book award, the Baillie Gifford Prize.

The 13-book longlist announced Wednesday includes John Vaillant’s look at the reality of climate change, “Fire Weather”; Chris van Tulleken’s dietary warning “Ultra Processed People”; and “Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity” by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson.

Best-selling American author David Grann is nominated for the stirring seafaring yarn “The Wager,” while physician-writer Siddhartha Mukherjee is in the running with “The Song of the Cell.”

British journalist Hannah Barnes is on the list for “Time to Think,” which charts the demise of Britain’s controversial Tavistock gender clinic for children.

Other contenders examine key moments in history, including Tania Branigan’s look at China’s Cultural Revolution, “Red Memory,” and Katja Hoyer’s portrait of East Germany, “Beyond the Wall.”

Six finalists for the 50,000 pound ($63,000) prize will be announced Oct. 8 and the winner revealed Nov. 16.

Founded in 1999, the prize recognizes English-language books from any country in current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. It has been credited with bringing an eclectic slate of fact-based books to a wider audience.

Last year’s winner was Katherine Rundell’s poet biography “Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne.”

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