The longlist for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize has been announced today, Monday 30 January. The prize celebrates exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction that engage with the topics of health and medicine and the many ways they touch our lives.
Comprising seven non-fiction and five fiction titles the longlist includes memoir, contemporary fiction, historical novel and popular science. Authors from the UK and USA appear on the list as well as the first Australian, French and Israeli contenders for the prize.
The twelve books on the list offer such a breadth of topic and style that they are perfect for reading groups. These are books to challenge, question, engage and provide catharsis. Click through to any title to leave a review or to add the book to your group’s reading list.
- How to Survive a Plague (Picador) by David France (USA) non-fiction
- Homo Deus (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House) by Yuval Noah Harari (Israel) non-fiction
- When Breath Becomes Air (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House) by Paul Kalanithi (USA) non-fiction
- Mend the Living (MacLehose Press) by Maylis de Kerangal (France) trans. Jessica Moore fiction
- The Golden Age (Europa Editions) by Joan London (Australia) fiction
- Cure (Canongate Books) by Jo Marchant (UK) non-fiction
- The Tidal Zone (Granta Books) by Sarah Moss (UK) fiction
- The Gene (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House) by Siddhartha Mukherjee (USA) non-fiction
- The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail, Profile Books) by Sarah Perry (UK) fiction
- A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Adam Rutherford (UK) non-fiction
- Miss Jane (Picador) by Brad Watson (USA) fiction
- I Contain Multitudes (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House) by Ed Yong (UK) non-fiction
There are two debut books on this year’s longlist; I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal and Jessica Moore is the first translated text to be included.
Three of the authors have been shortlisted for the prize in previous years; Adam Rutherford for Creation in 2014, Siddhartha Mukherjee for The Emperor of all Maladies in 2011 and Sarah Moss, who is in contention for the third consecutive year with The Tidal Zone.
Last April, the winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2016 was announced as consultant neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan, for It’s All in Your Head, her journey through the world of psychosomatic illness.
Have you read any of the longlisted titles? Share your thoughts using #WBP2017 or comment below.