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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 00:19 GMT 01:19 UK
Middle East memoirs up for prize
Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize
Memoirs from Iraq and Iran have been nominated for the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.

Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi and Nabeel's Song by Jo Tatchell are two of the 20 books on the longlist for the 30,000 annual prize.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Rory Stewart have also been nominated for their diaries based on life in Iraq.

The shortlist will be announced on 3 May, followed by the final awards ceremony on 18 June.


Judges chair Baroness Helena Kennedy QC said: "We've had an incredibly hard time choosing our longlist as the calibre of books was really astonishing.

"It is particularly interesting that current affairs and what is happening, in particular, in Iran and Iraq are at the fore-front of non-fiction."

Other books that have been longlisted include Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam, William Dalrymple for The Last Mughal and Richard Dawkins for The God Delusion.

Whitbread biography winner Brian Thompson is nominated for his book Clever Girl, A Sentimental Journey.

Claire Tomalin's Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man also made it onto the list.

James Shapiro's A Year In The Life of William Shakespeare won the prize last year.

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