Lettre Ulysses Award for the art of reportage

Isabel Hilton, Great Britain

Writer, journalist, reporter, commentator, broadcaster. Isabel Hilton was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. She is an expert in Chinese affairs. In 1977 she joined the Sunday Times as a feature writer. Subsequent posts included: News Reporter; Insight Reporter; Special Correspondent, China; Latin America Editor; Assistant Foreign Editor. She covered a wide range of home and foreign affairs. Her foreign assignments were in the United States, France, Spain, the Middle East, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Africa. In 1986 Isabel Hilton joined The Independent newspaper, pre-launch, as Latin America Editor. Subsequent posts included European Affairs Editor, from 1989, covering the end of the Cold War, and the subsequent elections in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as overseeing the coverage of Western Europe, including the European Community in the run up to 1992. She left the Independent in 1995 to write a book on China and Tibet.

Isabel Hilton presented Radio 4's The World Tonight (1995-1998) and joined Radio 3's Night Waves as one of its presenters in 1999. Documentaries include: Petra and the General, an investigation of the life and death of Petra Kelly, (BBC 1994); Kingdom of the Lost Boy, an account of the search for the 11th Panchen Lama (BBC 1996); City on the Edge, a documentary about economic reforms in China (1998); Condemned to Live, a report on the aftereffects of mass rape and genocide in Rwanda (1999), and The Caravan of Death, on the case against Pinochet.

Isabel Hilton was a co-author on The Falklands War, 1982; The Fourth Reich: Klaus Barbie and the Neo-Fascist Connection, 1984; Betrayed, Abuses of the Rights of the Child (contributor), 1986. Her books include The Search for the Panchen Lama for Viking Penguin, 1999. She contributed to The Best of Granta Travel, 1990 and The Best American Travel Writing, 1999. Isabel is a regular contributor to various publications, including the New Yorker, New Statesman, Time, New York Times Magazine, Literary Review, Financial Times, The Independent, The Observer, The Guardian (articles), The Economist and Lettre International ("Prinzenliebe, Königsblut", "Ein peruanischer Japaner"). She is currently working on a book of collected reportage writing from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, India, and the Middle East.

She is married, has a son and daughter and lives in London.

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"The literary journalist is not a conventional journalist, not a journalist only of information, but a journalist who must speak about human beings, and transcend current affairs to speak about the depth of the human condition"Tomás Eloy Martínez (jury member 2004)