Sudhir Hazareesingh’s ‘Black Spartacus’ longlisted for 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize

The prize, which celebrates the best in non-fiction writing, has announced its 'wide-ranging' longlist of 13 books.

Sudir Hazareesingh and his biography, Black Spartacus. Image: Catherine Helie / Mica Murphy/Penguin

Sudhir Hazareesingh's biography of Toussaint Louverture, a revolutionary hero who led a slave revolt in Haiti, has been longlisted for The Baillie Gifford Prize 2020.

Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, was released earlier this month and has already earned glowing reviews, with The Guardian calling it "a tour de force: by far the most complete, authoritative and persuasive biography of Toussaint that we are likely to have for a long time."

Hazareesingh's book is one of 13 on the longlist for the prize, which celebrates the best non-fiction writing of the year. Appearing on what judges have called a "wide-ranging" list, Black Spartacus was selected from more than 200 books by a panel that included BBC presenters Martha Kearney and Shahidha Bari.  

Other longlisted books include Diary of a Young Naturalist, The Wainwright Prize-winning debut by 16-year-old Dara McAnulty, and Square Haunting, a group biography of women writers and thinkers between the Wars who lived in Bloomsbury by Francesca Wade.

The shortlist for the 2020 award will be announced on 15 October, and the winner of the £50,000 prize on 24 November.

Last year's Baillie Gifford Prize was won by Hallie Rubenhold for The Five, which told the stories of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper.

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