Orwell Prizes 2024: Megan Nolan, Alpa Shah and Yaroslav Trofimov in Conversation

Three finalists in this year’s Orwell Prizes come together at Foyles Charing Cross Road for a discussion about the art of political storytelling and the urgent themes raised in their shortlisted work.

Every year the Orwell Foundation awards prizes to the writing and reporting which best meets the spirit of George Orwell's own ambition 'to make political writing into an art'.

Megan Nolan was born in 1990 in Waterford, Ireland. Her essays and reviews have been published by the New York Times, White Review, Guardian, and Frieze, among others. Her debut novel, Acts of Desperation, was the recipient of a Betty Trask Award, shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her latest novel, Ordinary Human Failings, is set in nineties London and follows an ambitious reporter as he investigates an Irish family implicated in an atrocious crime. Ordinary Human Failings, also longlisted for the Women’s Prize, is shortlisted for the Orwell Foundation’s Political Fiction Book Prize.

Alpa Shah was raised in Nairobi, studied at Cambridge and completed her PhD at the LSE, where she now teaches anthropology. She is the author of In the Shadows of the State and a co-author of Ground Down by Growth. She presented the radio documentary ‘India’s Red Belt’ for BBC Radio 4’s Crossing Continents. Her latest book, The Incarcerations, takes a shocking case of sixteen human rights defenders imprisoned in India without credible evidence or a trial, and unravels the larger state of democratic crisis in modern India. Shah’s work is shortlisted for the Orwell Foundation’s Political Writing Book Prize.

Yaroslav Trofimov is the chief foreign-affairs correspondent of The Wall Street Journal and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for two consecutive years, in 2022 and 2023. Before covering the Russian war on Ukraine, he reported on most major conflicts of the past two decades, serving as the Journal's bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan and as a correspondent in Iraq. He holds an MA from New York University and is the author of the critically acclaimed books, Faith at War and The Siege of Mecca. Our Enemies will Vanish, his expertly-told, eye-witness account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is shortlisted for the Orwell Foundation’s Political Writing Book Prize.

The discussion will be chaired by journalist and author Christina Lamb, Chief Foreign Correspondent for the Sunday Times.

The event will be followed by a book signing. Doors will open from 6:45pm.

Tickets: £8 General Admission Venue: The Auditorium (Level 6) at Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road Please note that the Auditorium at Foyles is fully accessible from the Ground floor lifts.

Orwell Fiction Book Prize 2024 Finalists

See More
Caledonian Road
My Friends