Books

Maya Jasanoff wins history writing prize, worth $75K U.S., for Joseph Conrad biography

Maya Jasanoff, a Harvard professor, has won the Cundill History Prize for her book The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World.
The Dawn Watch is a biography of writer Joseph Conrad by Maya Jasanoff. (Submitted by Cundill History Prize)

Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff has won the 2018 Cundill History Prize for her biography The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World.

The Cundill History Prize is an international history prize that comes with a $75,000 U.S. purse (approx. $99,015 Cdn). Books from around the world available in English are eligible for the prize, which is administered by McGill University.

In The Dawn Watch, Jasanoff deems Joseph Conrad a "prophet of globalization" and documents his life as a sailor, spending two decades traversing the world's oceans before returning to England to write. Conrad was a Polish-British writer at the turn of the 20th century who authored books like Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo and The Secret Agent.  

Jasanoff's fellow finalists included Caroline Fraser for Prairie Fires, a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Sam White for A Cold Welcome, which documents Europeans' arrival in North America. 

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