Short list announced for 2016 Cundill Prize in historical literature

Three books to compete for $75,000 (US) grand prize
Image by Laurie Devine.
Published: 6 October 2016

Today the jury for the world’s most lucrative award for historical non-fiction writing announced this year's short list. Antonia Maioni, Dean of McGill University’s Faculty of Arts and Chair of the Cundill Prize, said, “With this year's finalists for the Cundill Prize in History, the jury has identified three books that combine tremendous erudition, insight and élan. These are books that engage and hold their readers' attention from the first page to the last.” Now in its ninth year, the Cundill Prize features a grand prize of $75,000 (US) and two Recognition of Excellence prizes of $10,000 (US) each. 

The winner of the grand prize will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Toronto on Thursday, November 17, at the Shangri-La Hotel.

The three finalists are:

Thomas W. Laqueur- The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton University Press) 

David Wootton- The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution (HarperCollins) 

Andrea Wulf- The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World (Alfred A. Knopf, John Murray Publishers)

This year’s short list was chosen by the Cundill jury, which included Timothy Brook, Republic of China Chair, University of British Columbia; John Darwin, Professor of Global and Imperial History and Director, Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford; and Anna Porter, Co-founder, Key Porter Books and author (Buying a Better World: George Soros and Billionaire Philanthropy, The Ghosts of Europe).

About the Prize: The Cundill Prize is the world’s most important international prize for non-fiction historical literature. It was established in 2008 by McGill alumnus F. Peter Cundill, who passed away in January 2011. The prize is administered by McGill University’s Dean of Arts, with assistance from the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), and is awarded annually to an individual who has published a book that has made a profound literary, social, and academic impact in the area of history.

For more information on the Cundill Prize:

Follow us on Twitter: @CundillPrize

Short-listed authors are available for comment and interview. For further information, please contact:

Amirah El-Safty
Partnerships & Marketing Manager
amirah.el-safty [at]
416.971.5004 ext. 253

Cynthia Lee
McGill University
cynthia.lee [at]

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