Competition: US & Canada
Edward Wilson-Lee is 1596 Fellow at Sidney Sussex College in the University of Cambridge, where he teaches literature.
He is the author of several works of cultural history, including The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books (Scribner, 2019), which charts the quest by Hernando Colón (illegitimate son of Columbus) to build a universal library containing every book in existence, and which won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize. Earlier publications include Shakespeare in Swahililand (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), a travelogue and work of literary criticism about the strange role of Shakespeare in the history of East Africa.
His most recent book, to be published later this year, is A History of Water (William Collins, 2022), a real-life murder mystery set during the early Portuguese encounters with India and China, tracing the lives of a poet and an archivist as they traverse the globe and battle to define Europe’s place within newly expanded horizons.