NEWS: Longlist for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize

The longlist for the 2017 Wellcome Book prize has been confirmed, with five fiction and seven non-fiction titles in the running for the £30,000 prize. 


Celebrating works of fiction and non-fiction that cover the topics of health and medicine and the way in which they impact on our lives, the Wellcome Book Prize has announced the longlist for its latest prize.

The 2017 longlist has been selected by judging panel that was chaired by Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, alongside Simon Baron-Cohen, Gemma Cairney, Tim Lewens and Di Speirs.

Meanwhile, the list of those nominated for the prize are as follows:

How to Survive a Plague (Picador, Pan Macmillan) by David France (USA) non-fiction

Homo Deus (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House) by Yuval Noah Harari (Israel) non-fiction

When Breath Becomes Air (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House) by Paul Kalanithi (USA) non-fiction

Mend the Living (MacLehose Press) by Maylis de Kerangal (France) trans. Jessica Moore fiction

The Golden Age (Europa Editions) by Joan London (Australia) fiction

Cure (Canongate Books) by Jo Marchant (UK) non-fiction

The Tidal Zone (Granta Books) by Sarah Moss (UK) fiction

The Gene (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House) by Siddhartha Mukherjee (USA) non-fiction

 The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail, Profile Books) by Sarah Perry (UK) fiction

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Adam Rutherford (UK) non-fiction

Miss Jane (Picador, Pan Macmillan) by Brad Watson (USA) fiction

I Contain Multitudes (The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House) by Ed Yong (UK) non-fiction

This year’s longlist features two debut books:  Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, whose life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality is the first posthumously published title to be recognised by the Wellcome Book Prize.

Talking about the announcement, Val McDermid said: “The challenge of judging the Wellcome Book Prize is that we have all had to read outside our own areas of expertise. That makes demands both of the judges and of the books. This longlist is evidence of the breadth, humanity and creativity at work in the submissions for the prize, and we commend each of these 12 books for your reading pleasure.”

The shortlist for the prize will be announced at a press conference on Tuesday 14th March at the London Book Fair. Meanwhile, the winner will be confirmed at an evening ceremony on Monday 24th April at the Wellcome Collection.

For more information about the prize and the longlisted works, visit:



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