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Wellcome Book Prize announces 2019 longlist

Five novels and seven non-fiction titles in contention for the 10th anniversary prize.

Wellcome Book Prize

The 2019 Wellcome Book Prize longlist celebrates exceptional works of literature that illuminate the many ways that health, medicine and illness touch our lives. It marks the 10th anniversary of the prestigious award.

The 2019 longlist of twelve titles was selected by a judging panel chaired by award-winning author Elif Shafak, with Kevin Fong, Viv Groskop, Jon Day and Rick Edwards.

The longlist titles are:

  • Amateur: A true story about what makes a man (Canongate Books) by Thomas Page McBee (USA) Non-fiction
  • Astroturf (riverrun, Quercus) by Matthew Sperling (UK) Fiction
  • Educated (Windmill Books/Cornerstone) by Tara Westover (USA) Non-fiction
  • Freshwater (Faber & Faber) by Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria/USA) Fiction
  • Heart: A history (Oneworld) by Sandeep Jauhar (India/USA) Non-fiction
  • Mind on Fire: A memoir of madness and recovery (Penguin Ireland) by Arnold Thomas Fanning (Ireland) Non-fiction
  • Murmur (CB Editions) by Will Eaves (UK) Fiction
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Jonathan Cape) by Ottessa Moshfegh (USA) Fiction
  • Polio: The odyssey of eradication (Hurst Publishers) by Thomas Abraham (USA) Non-fiction
  • Sight (John Murray Press) by Jessie Greengrass (UK) Fiction
  • The Trauma Cleaner: One woman’s extraordinary life in death, decay and disaster (The Text Publishing Company) by Sarah Krasnostein (Australia/USA) Non-fiction
  • This Really Isn’t About You (Picador) by Jean Hannah Edelstein (UK/USA) Non-fiction

International and UK authors are in contention for the £30,000 prize.

Elif Shafak commented:

“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 will be announced on Tuesday 19th March, with the winner revealed on Wednesday 1st May at Wellcome Collection.

See wellcomebookprize.org for more details.

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