Indian-American physician and author Siddhartha Mukherjee has been longlisted for this year’s Wellcome Book Prize for his non-fictional work The Gene: An Intimate History, which was published in May 2016.
The author took to Twitter to share the announcement.
In his book, Mukherjee blends science, social history and personal narrative, and attempts to tackle the knotty dilemma of whether human beings should remain bound to heredity or alter the course of future generations.
It is among the 12 books on the list that features seven non-fiction and five fiction titles, including memoir, contemporary fiction, historical fiction and popular science.
“The longlist for the 2017 prize has been revealed... Its 12 books showcase the breadth and depth of our encounters with medicine,” according to the official website of the Prize.
Other works of fiction longlisted for the prize include Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal, The Golden Age by Joan London, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss and Miss Jane by Brad Watson.
How to Survive a Plague by David France, Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, ‘Cure’ by Jo Marchant, ‘A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived’ by Adam Rutherford and ‘I Contain Multitudes’ by Ed Yong were among the works of non-fiction.
The longlist was finalised in September last year by a judging panel that included academics and authors like Simon Baron-Cohen, Val McDermid and Tim Lewens. Broadcaster Gemma Cairney and radio editor and producer Di Speirs were also on the panel. The shortlist for the 2017 prize will be announced on 14 March and the winner on 24 April.
The 2016 Wellcome Prize was won by Suzanne O’Sullivan for It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness.
The annual award recognises works of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, that have a central theme engaging with some aspect of medicine, health or illness. The genres can vary from crime, romance and popular science to sci-fi and history.
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