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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Contact: Jennifer Richards
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BIOGRAPHERS INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Announces the Finalists for 

BEST BIOGRAPHY OF 2019


Plutarch Award winner to be announced on May 16, 2020

April 6, 2020; New York, NY– A distinguished panel of judges from the Biographers International Organization (BIO) has selected five finalists for the 8th annual Plutarch Award, which is the only international literary award for biography judged exclusively by biographers. 

This year’s finalists, in alphabetical order by author’s name, are:
Sidney Blumenthal
ALL THE POWERS OF EARTH:
The Political Life of
Abraham Lincoln, 1856-1860 

(Simon & Schuster)
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall
SISTERS AND REBELS:
A Struggle for the Soul of America

(W.W. Norton)
Charles King
GODS OF THE UPPER AIR:
How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century

(Doubleday)
George Packer
OUR MAN:
Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century

(Knopf)
Sonia Purnell
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE:
The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

(Viking)
“It's been a remarkable year for biography," says Caroline Fraser, Plutarch Award Committee Chair. The above finalists have emerged from an exceptional long list that "reflects biographers' wide-ranging interests and talents, showcasing the best of the genre's originality, diversity, deep scholarship, and excellent writing."
 
The 2020 Plutarch Award for the best biography of 2019—honoring a writer who has achieved distinction in the craft—will be revealed on May 16, 2020.
 
2020 Plutarch Jury members:
Caroline Fraser, chair; Peniel E. Joseph, Hans Renders, John Richetti, Susan Ware 
Previous Winners of the Plutarch Award:

2019: FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Prophet of Freedom
          by David W. Blight

2018: PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of
          Laura Ingalls Wilder

         by Caroline Fraser

2017: SHIRLEY JACKSON: A Rather Haunted Life
           by Ruth Franklin

2016: STALIN'S DAUGHTER: The Extraordinary and
          Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva 

          by Rosemary Sullivan

2015: PENELOPE FITZGERALD: A Life
          by Hermione Lee

2014: HOLDING ON UPSIDE DOWN: The Life and Work
           of Marianne Moore

          by Linda Leavell

2013: THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of  Lyndon
          Johnson

         by Robert Caro
A Brief History of Biographers International Organization
Biographers International Organization (BIO) was founded in 2009 to promote the art and craft of biography and to further the professional interests of practitioners in the field. A worldwide literary organization devoted to biographers and biography, BIO provides support and advocacy for its members. Activities include providing guidance on researching, writing, publishing, marketing and creating biographical works; encouraging public interest in and appreciation for biography; and conducting conferences and public events on biography.  www.biographersinternational.org
For press interviews, please contact BIO president Linda Leavell: President@biographersinternational.org
 
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