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Thomas W. Laqueur wins lucrative Cundill Prize

Thomas W. Laqueur (photo: Tom Sandler)

Thomas W. Laqueur (photo: Tom Sandler)

American historian Thomas W. Laqueur won the Cundill Prize in historical literature for his book The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton University Press) on Nov. 17. The $75,000 (U.S.) award, administered by McGill University’s dean of arts, was presented at a gala event in Toronto.

In The Work of the Dead, Laqueur – whose previous books explored religion, sex, and the cultural history of masturbation – explores how, throughout time, humans have cared for their dead. The book already won the George L. Mosse Prize and the Prose Award for European and world history.

This year’s Cundill finalists included David Wootton for The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution and Andrea Wulf for The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World.