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Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2010: The shortlist

7 Oct, 2010
Book-colour histogram

Book-colour histogram

A lady whose cells, taken without her knowledge, changed medical science forever; a love story between two patients in a mental institution; the strain of medical illness on relationships, exasperated by the problems of the US healthcare system; the ‘forgotten’ achievement of eradicating smallpox; the courageous role of army medics in Afghanistan and beyond.

These are among the stories shortlisted for the 2010 the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. Now in its second year, the award celebrates the portrayal and exploration of medicine, health and illness in literature.

As Erica Wagner writes in the Times Eureka magazine today:

Medicine isn’t just something we interact with when we are poorly. Throughout history the study of the human body has also concerned the study of the human soul… Whether writing novels or non-fiction, authors who take in medicine take in our humanity in a very particular way.”

The winner of the £25,000 prize will be announced on 9 November, judged by a panel including comedy writer and presenter Clive Anderson, writer and former Man Booker judge Maggie Gee; writer, professor and former Man Booker judge A C Grayling; University College London-based medical historian Michael Neve; and anatomist, anthropologist, presenter and author Alice Roberts.

The shortlisted books are:

You can read more about the books, and the Book Prize on the Wellcome Trust Book Prize website. You can also find them in the Wellcome Library.

Image credit: Patrick Gage on Flickr
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