Tania Branigan has won the 2023 Cundill History Prize for Red Memory: Living, Remembering and Forgetting China’s Cultural Revolution.
“Haunting and memorable, Tania Branigan’s sensitive study of the impact of the Cultural Revolution on the lives and psyches of an entire generation in China affected every juror, as it will every reader,” said Philippa Levine, Jury Chair, in a statement. “All of us found ourselves unable to stop thinking about this extraordinary book. All of us were deeply moved by the trauma she so vividly describes and by the skills on which she drew in doing so. This is a must-read.”
The Cundill History Prize comes with a purse of $75,000; the largest for a book of nonfiction published in English, and is awarded every year to “a work of outstanding history writing.” Finalists Kate Cooper (Queens of a Fallen World: The Lost Women of Augustine’s Confessions) and James Morton Turner (Charged: A History of Batteries and Lessons for a Clean Energy Future) were each awarded $10,000.