We are delighted to announced that award-winning author Elif Shafak has been appointed as chair of judges for the Wellcome Book Prize 2019, which rewards exceptional works of literature that illuminate the many ways that health, medicine and illness touch our lives.
Elif Shafak is joined on the panel by Kevin Fong, consultant anaesthetist at University College London Hospitals; Viv Groskop, writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian; Jon Day, writer, critic, and academic; and Rick Edwards, broadcaster and author.
The judging panel will select a longlist of up to 12 books in February 2019, followed by a shortlist of six books in March 2019, with the winner announced at a ceremony at Wellcome Collection in spring 2019.
Elif Shafak commented on behalf of the judging panel:
“I have long admired the unique ways in which the Wellcome Book Prize explores the complexity of what it means to be a human in a fast-changing world, and expands our understanding of medicine, health and illness through the universality of literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I feel deeply honoured to have been asked to chair the 10th anniversary of the prize in 2019, and I look forward to joining my distinguished fellow judges as we immerse ourselves within this year's submissions.”
Kirty Topiwala, publisher at Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Book Prize manager, said:
“We’re delighted with the tremendous line up of judges we have assembled for this special anniversary year. They bring an incredible range of insight and experience and I know they will choose some fantastic and surprising books!”
The Wellcome Book Prize 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of this prestigious award, which over the last decade has recognised an eclectic variety of titles from novels (Mend the Living, Maylis de Kerangal) to memoirs (The Iceberg, Marion Coutts) to popular science (It’s All in Your Head, Suzanne O’Sullivan). In 2019, the prize will celebrate this legacy and this extraordinary genre of books that add new meaning to life, death and everything in between.
The £30,000 prize is open to new fiction and non-fiction books published in the UK between 1 January and 31 December 2018.