Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Wellcome Book Prize has  announced the longlist for the 2019 prize. 

The annual book prize celebrating literature that highlight the ways in which health, medicine and illness touch people’s lives has confirmed the twelve books which are nominated for this year’s prize.

This newly announced longlist is comprised of five novels and seven non-fiction works including six who have written their debut books.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the prize, the selection of literature nominated was selected by a judging panel chaired by award-winning author Elif Shafak, with Kevin Fong, Viv Groskop, Jon Day and Rick Edwards.

The list of those nominated includes:

  • 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

All of those nominated are contending for the £30,000 prize, on a longlist that explores gender, identity, mental health and modern medicine.

Talking about the news, Elif Shafak on behalf of the judging panel said: “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 for the prize will be announced on Tuesday 19 March, with the winner revealed at an evening ceremony on Wednesday 1 May at Wellcome Collection.

For more information about the Wellcome Book Prize visit: https://wellcomebookprize.org/