Author and journalist Raghu Karnad is among six writers shortlisted for the 2,000 pounds Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History 2016, which celebrates the best non-fiction on a historical subject in any period up to and including the 1960s.
Karnad has been shortlisted for his debut book The Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War (HarperCollins), a statement by English PEN, a registered charity, promoting the freedom to write and the freedom to read in the UK and around the world said on Wednesday.
The prize endowed by former PEN member Marjorie Hessell Tiltman's bequest is set to be announced at the Cambridge Literary Festival on April 10 this year.
Karnad's book tells the story of war through the lives and deaths of a single family and thereby attempts to weave a larger story of the lives of the millions of faceless Indian soldiers who stood against the might of the Axis forces in the great theatres of the war- from the eastern front of Imphal to the distant shores of Eritria and Africa.
Other shortlisted authors for the Hessell-Tiltman Prize include Mary Beard for "SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome", Peter Frankopan for "The Silk Roads: A New History of the World", James Shapiro for "1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear" and Nicholas Stargardt for "The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-45."
Childs was awarded the Hessell-Tiltman Prize in 2015 for "God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England" and Reynolds was awarded the prize in 2014 for "The Long Shadow: The Great War and the 20th Century."
"Our shortlist seems to exemplify the exciting diversity of history writing today. Collectively, the list takes us from ancient Rome to contemporary India, combining cultural, political, social and military history," Feigel said in a statement.
"Even in the more traditional 'big books about battles', the historians have found original ways to create compelling narratives in which the stories and voices of ordinary and extraordinary individuals thread through the larger events," she said.