Announcing the Wellcome Book Prize Longlist 2019

Large wellcome book prize 2019 longlist 1 credit steven pocock

The Wellcome Book Prize longlist for 2019 has been announced, celebrating the many ways in which literature can illuminate the breadth and depth of our relationship with health, medicine and illness.

The longlist of twelve titles was selected by a judging panel chaired by author Elif Shafak with Jon Day, Viv Groskop, Kevin Fong and Rick Edwards.

The 2019 longlist:

Three debut novels appear on this year’s longlist: Sight, Freshwater and Astroturf. The two further novels look at what great bodily change can do to a person’s mind.

Memoirs dominate the seven non-fiction titles on the list, sharing stories including mortality, modern masculinity and attitudes towards medical innovation.

Elif Shafak commented on behalf of the judging panel:

“Chairing the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize alongside my esteemed fellow judges is a true honour and privilege. In a world that remains sadly divided into echo chambers and mental ghettoes, this prize is unique in its ability to connect various disciplines: medicine, health, literature, art and science. Reading and discussing at length all the books on our list has been fascinating from the very start. We now have a wonderful longlist, of which we are all very proud. Although it sure won’t be easy to choose the shortlist, and then, finally, the winner, I am thrilled about and truly grateful for this fascinating journey through stories, ideas, ground-breaking research and revolutionary knowledge.”

The shortlist for the prize will be announced on Tuesday 19 March, with the winner revealed at an evening ceremony on Wednesday 1 May at Wellcome Collection.

Get involved.

Share your thoughts about the chosen books on Twitter and Instagram using #WBP2019.
Find out more about the books on the Wellcome Book Prize website.
Take a look at the Wellcome Book Prize winner from 2018.
Do you work in a library? You can order free promotional materials for the Wellcome Book Prize shortlist.


Log in or Sign up to add a comment


Suggestions for National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Day generates an explosion of activity nationwide, thousands of amazing events across the UK – in schools, libraries, bookshops and hospitals, on buses, trains and boats – all celebrating poetry’s power to bring people together. 2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day – expect the celebrations to run all year long.

Medium npd 2019 recommended reading list   book groups

How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

Thumb reading between the wines with books  2

Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

Medium hive