The Slightly Foxed First Best Biography Prize 2016 shortlist has been announced, and Hisham Matar’s The Return has made the five-strong list:

Matar’s book might be on any number of specialized shortlists, as it’s all at once memoir, history, biography, and journalistic account of contemporary Libya.

Screen-Shot-2016-07-28-at-13.21.25This is the third year that Slightly Foxed, a literary quarterly and independent publisher, has sponsored this award, which is worth £3,500. The other shortlisted titles are:

David Aaronovitch Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists (Jonathan Cape)
David Hare The Blue Touch Paper (Faber)
Juliet Nicolson A House Full of Daughters (Chatto & Windus)
Philippe Sands East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

This year’s judges, according to the prize website, are: biographers Richard Davenport-Hines and Flora Fraser and author Ysenda Maxtone Graham.

Also read:

‘The Return’: Hisham Matar’s Greatest Book So Far

Books Inside Books: An Infinite History of Modern Libya