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Christopher Hitchens longlisted for Orwell Prize

29th March 2012

A book by the late Christopher Hitchens, who was described by many as the heir to George Orwell, is in contention to win the 2012 Orwell Prize for political writing.

Hitchens, who died in December last year after a battle with oesophageal cancer, will become the first ever posthumous recipient of the Orwell Prize's book award if his essay collection Arguably is victorious.

The outspoken author and journalist covers subjects ranging from the war on terror to Princess Diana in the collection, which comprises essays written throughout his lifetime and was described by the Daily Telegraph's Nicholas Shakespeare as 'displaying the author's characteristic wit, intelligence and passion' following its publication.

Hitchens was previously shortlisted for the 2012 Orwell Prize for his memoir Hitch-22, but lost out to Tom Bingham's The Rule of Law.

This year's 18-strong longlist, which was selected from a record 264 entries, will be whittled down to a shortlist of six titles in April, with the winner announced on May 23rd.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are subjects that permeate the 2012 longlist, with Hitchens' fellow contenders including former British ambassador to Afghanistan Sherard Cowper-Coles, whose book Cables from Kabul explores the problems still facing the country.

Anatol Lieven's Pakistan: A Hard Country, Afgansty by former British ambassador to Russia Rodric Braithwaite and Toby Harnden's Dead Men Risen, an account of a Welsh Guards tour of Helmand, are also in contention for the GBP 3,000 prize.

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