Written by Madalyn Campbell
The Baillie Gifford Prize, formerly known as the Samuel Johnson Prize, is a U.K. prize for nonfiction. It began in 1999 and has continued awarding notable nonfiction books. It is open to any author of any nationality as long as the book was published in English and in the U.K. The prize covers any book that is nonfiction, such as autobiographies, books about sports, historical books, and many others. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards for nonfiction in the U.K.
As Literary Hub’s Emily Temple reported, David France’s book detailing the AIDS epidemic, How to Survive a Plague, has won the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize. France offers an insider’s look into the crisis that swept over communities not even half a century ago. The book was originally a documentary of the same name, released in 2012, which was nominated for a variety of awards and won the best documentary of 2012 from both the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the Boston Society of Film Critics. The book expands on material covered in the documentary and is applauded by the Baillie Gifford prize as a beautifully written book with a rich and important story to tell.