Categorized | For the love of books, For the love of writing, News

Wellcome Trust Book Prize: Longlist Announced

Posted on 05 September 2012 by Alice

The longlist for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize has been announced. Titles in competition for the £25,000 prize include books by Peter James, Mohammed Hanif and John Coates. Last year’s winner was Alice LaPlante’s ‘Turn of Mind’, and was the first work of fiction to

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win the prize. This year’s list includes works about health and medicine, but also includes science fiction, a Peter James thriller, a love story and a work of historical fiction.

Here’s the list in full:

  • John Coates, ‘The Hour Between Dog and Wolf’ (Fourth Estate)
  • Joshua Cody, ‘[Sic]’ (Bloomsbury)
  • Nick Coleman, ‘The Train in the Night’ (Jonathan Cape)
  • Mohammed Hanif, ‘Our Lady of Alice Bhatti’ (Jonathan Cape)
  • Peter James, ‘Perfect People’ (Macmillan)
  • Harry Karlinsky, ‘The Evolution of Inanimate Objects’ (The Friday Project)
  • Darian Leader, ‘What is Madness?’ (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Ken Macleod, ‘Intrusion’ (Orbit)
  • Professor Peter Piot, ‘No Time to Lose’ (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Michael Shermer, ‘The Believing Brain’ (Constable & Robinson)
  • Tim Spector, ‘Identically Different’ (Wiedenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Rose Tremain, ‘Merivel: A Man of his Time’ (Chatto & Windus)
  • Thomas Wright, ‘Circulation’ (Chatto & Windus)
  • Paul Zak, ‘The Moral Molecule’ (Transworld)
Incidentally, the Wellcome Trust has a lovely-looking library!

183 Euston Road

Scientific research, human behaviour and genetics are some of the themes, while biographies and memoirs also feature in the longlist, ranging from personal experiences of illness to profiles of inspiring individuals such as Peter Piot and William Harvey, who have contributed to scientific progress through their work. The list also includes a factitious biography that blurs the boundaries between

fact and fiction by retelling Darwinian family history. Human behaviour is another central theme in the longlist. The books’ topics include a study of madness, economic behaviour and its impact on the global economy, the blurring of nature versus nurture in genetics, a theory on how we form beliefs, and a revolutionary theory of moral behaviour.

“This is an excellent and extremely diverse selection of books, reflecting the creative ways in which authors use medicine in fiction and non-fiction. These books challenge and entertain the reader in equal measures, but crucially make us reflect on the impact that medicine has on our lives. It will no doubt be a difficult task for our judges to pick one winner out of such a strong list.”

Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust

The shortlist will be announced on 11 October and the winner will be announced at an awards reception at Wellcome Collection, London, on 7 November 2012. To find out more log on to the Book Prize website.


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