HarperCollins is donating more than 500 copies of Nathan Filer's Costa Book of the Year-winning novel The Shock of the Fall to NHS library services across the south west.
The publisher is donating copies to the NHS library network through the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and the Reading Agency. They will then be given out to NHS practitioners and patients in hospitals across the south west, while a reading guide will be made available on the Reading Agency website.
Filer's novel, which is partially set in an NHS day centre in Bristol, is based on his own experiences as a mental health nurse working in the area. He now lectures in creative writing at Bath Spa University. The book, one of the first published by HarperCollins imprint The Borough Press, won the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year award in January this year.
He said: “I feel happy and honoured that my novel is being donated to NHS libraries. These libraries are such important places for many people during what can be very difficult times in their lives. It's a really good thing to be a part of."
Joy Low, library manager at the trust, said: "Since Nathan’s book came out last year it’s been incredibly popular in all our libraries. His sympathetic portrait of the impact of mental illness, on both patient and staff, has really connected with those who’ve read it, and we’re delighted to be involved in spreading the word further."
The donation will work alongside the Reading Well scheme, backed by the Reading Agency alongside public libraries, which encourages patients to use books as part of their treatment, both through the clinically–endorsed Books on Prescription scheme, which recommends self-help titles, and the Mood-boosting Books scheme, which recommends fiction and poetry.
The Borough Press has produced a new paperback jacket for The Shock of the Fall with a wintery design to "mark the books's incredible success throughout 2014". It has sold more than 300,000 copies in print and digital according to the publisher, and is published in 28 territories.
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