Peter James and Rose Tremain are among the authors competing on the longlist for this year's Wellcome Trust Book Prize, awarded to fiction or non-fiction work on the theme of health, illness and medicine.
Nine novels and nine works of non-fiction are in contention for the £25,000 prize, with the shortlist to be announced on 11th October.
Peter James’ work Perfect People (Macmillan), which treats the topic of a rare genetic disorder, is up against Rose Tremain’s Merivel: A Man of his Time (Chatto), which features as a character the physician to Charles II.
Also in contention are John Coates' The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (Fourth Estate); Joshua Cody’s [Sic] (Bloomsbury); and two titles from Jonathan Cape: Nick Coleman’s The Train in the Night and Mohammed Hanif’s Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (Jonathan Cape).
Also on the list are Harry Karlinsky’s The Evolution of Inanimate Objects (The Friday Project); Darian Leader’s What is Madness? (Hamish Hamilton); Ken Macleod’s Intrusion (Orbit); Professor Peter Piot’s No Time to Lose (W.W Norton & Company); Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain (Constable & Robinson); Tim Spector’s Identically Different (Weidenfeld & Nicolson); Thomas Wright’s Circulation (Chatto); and Paul Zak’s The Moral Molecule (Transworld).
Clare Matterson, director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, called the longlist “an excellent and extremely diverse selection of books, reflecting the creative ways in which authors use medicine in fiction and non-fiction" saying: "These books challenge and entertain the reader in equal measures, but crucially make us reflect on the impact that medicine has on our lives.”
The shortlist will be announced on 11th October with the winner to be announced on 7th November.