David France wins 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
David France has won the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction for his powerful book, How to Survive a Plague. An American writer and Oscar nominee, France has been a long-time chronicler of AIDS.
How to Survive a Plague examines the plague years of the AIDS epidemic from 1981-1996, when there was no effective medical treatment for an HIV infection and death was almost certain. In his book, France explores the work that was done largely by patients and activists in helping to identify, test and bring to market medication that has made HIV a largely survivable and treatable condition.
Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of the Baillie Gifford Prize Judges, commented on France’s win: “In our winner we were looking for something that is incredibly well written, enjoyable and also important. How to Survive a Plague is all of these things and also works on three levels: it’s the personal story of a gay man, the history of the prejudice that gay men faced during the AIDS epidemic and the worldwide scientific story of the search for a treatment for AIDS.”
How to Survive a Plague is also a documentary, which has won a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award and was nominated for both an Oscar and two Emmys.
You can find out more about the Prize by visiting the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction website, which includes the full shortlist and interviews with a selection of authors.