April 16, 2010
Melville House book makes short list for Orwell Prize
by Dennis Johnson
The short list for the Orwell Prize was announced in London yesterday, and the Melville House title From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Aftermath, by Kenan Malik, was on it. As we mentioned when the book made the long list, the award is “the pre-eminent British prize for political writing” that is “judged to have best achieved George Orwell’s aim to ‘make political writing into an art’.”
The book, which comes out from Melville House in June and is already out in the UK from Atlantic Books, examines how radical Islam has gained hold in Muslim communities, how multiculturalism contributed to this, and how the Salman Rushdie affair transformed the very nature of the debate on tolerance and free speech. The winner will be announced on May 19.
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives