The shortlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize, a U.K. award that honors excellence in nonfiction books, has been unveiled.

For the first time in the prize’s history, most of the books on the shortlist—five out of six—are written by women. Four of the authors on the list are British, with the U.S. and Ireland also represented.

American author Caroline Elkins made the shortlist for Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire, while Ireland’s Sally Hayden was named a finalist for My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World's Deadliest Migration Route.

The U.K. authors making the list were Anna Keay for The Restless Republic: Britain Without a Crown, Polly Morland for A Fortunate Woman: A Country Doctor’s Story, Katherine Rundell for Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, and Jonathan Freedland for The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World.

“The six books on the first-ever majority female-authored Baillie Gifford shortlist are marvelously wide-ranging, in terms of setting, era, and the creative approaches on display,” said the award’s chair of judges, Caroline Sanderson. “But however different the canvas, all have enthralling human stories at their heart.”

The Baillie Gifford Prize was established in 1999. Previous winners have included Michael Burleigh for The Third Reich: A New Historyand Helen Macdonald for H Is for Hawk.

The winner of the award, which comes with a cash prize of about $55,000, will be announced at a ceremony on Nov. 17.

Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.