Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s autobiography leads the pack, but there are both contemporary and historical revelations to be found in this year’s shortlist for the prestigious sports writing award…
I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic - the autobiography of the Swedish footballer - has already won over critics and readers, drawing comparisons to Philip Roth‘s classic Portnoy’s Complaint, but if it goes on to victory in the William Hill awards Ibrahimovic will be the first active player ever to win in the prize’s history.
His tale of rags to riches sits alongside historical tales such as Daniel James Brown‘s retelling of the extraordinary experiences of American rower Joe Rantz in The Boys In The Boat and Jamie Reid‘s exposé of one of the biggest doping scandals in horse racing - Doped.
A more recent doping scandal is the focus of David Walsh‘s Seven Deadly Sins - which follows the multi-award winning sportswriter’s efforts to expose Lance Armstrong‘s drug use. A fellow investigative journalist Ed Hawkins’ infiltration of India’s illegal gambling industry is the subject of another shortlisted title - Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy - whilst a sport-centric look at the nature nurture debate by David Epstein - The Sports Gene - completes the list.
The winner, to be announced live on BBC Radio 4′s Front Row on Wednesday 27th November, will receive a £25,000 cash prize, a £2,500 William Hill bet, a hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races.
The shortlist in full:
The Boys In The Boat: An Epic True-Life Journey to the Heart of Hitler’s Berlin, Daniel James Brown (Macmillan)
The Sports Gene: What Makes The Perfect Athlete, David Epstein (Yellow Jersey Press)
Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Heart of Cricket’s Underworld, Ed Hawkins (Bloomsbury)
I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Lagercrantz and Ruth Urbom (Penguin)
Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang, Jamie Reid (Racing Post)
Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong, David Walsh (Simon & Schuster)
Waterstones Cardholder competition: Attend the William Hill Sports Book of the Year ceremony
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award we’re offering Waterstones Cardholders the chance to win a complete set of the prize longlist (17 books), two invitations to the winner’s announcement ceremony at the exclusive Hospital Club and a night’s accommodation at a top central London hotel.
Find out more and enter here