Wellcome Book Prize reveals shortlist for 2017

Clarisse Loughrey

The shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize has been announced, celebrating exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction that have breached the worlds of health and medicine.

Consisting of 6 books, four of which are non-fiction and two fiction, the list was selected by a judging panel chaired by celebrated Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, alongside Simon Baron-Cohen, Gemma Cairney, Tim Lewens, and Di Speirs.

This shortlist for the £30,000 prize includes the first posthumously published title in Paul Kalanithi's memoir When Breath Becomes Air, a book which Bill Gates said "left me in tears", and the first translated text in Maylis de Kerangal and Jessica Moore's Mend the Living.

Val McDermid commented on behalf of the judging panel, "What these six challenging, diverse and enriching titles have in common is their insight into what it means to be human. Together they form a mosaic that illuminates our relationship with health and medicine. It spans our origins, our deaths and much that lies between, from activism to acts of human kindness."

You can read the full shortlist below:

- How to Survive a Plague by David France (USA) Picador, Pan Macmillan
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (USA) The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House
- Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (France) trans. Jessica Moore MacLehose Press
- The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss (UK) Granta Books
- The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee (USA) The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House
- I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong (UK) The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House

The winner will be announced at an evening ceremony on Monday 24 April at Wellcome Collection.

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