2017 shortlist announced


We are thrilled to announce our exceptional 2017 shortlist.

David France, Paul Kalanithi, Maylis de Kerangal, Sarah Moss, Siddhartha Mukherjee and Ed Yong all remain in the running for the £30,000 prize, which celebrates the very best works of fiction and non-fiction that engage with the topics of health and medicine and the many ways they touch our lives.

The judging panel praised both the variety of writing and the diversity of subjects, from questions of humanity and mortality to the microscopic components of our body.

The full 2017 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist is: 

How to Survive a Plague’ by David France
When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi
Mend the Living’ by Maylis de Kerangal
The Tidal Zone’ by Sarah Moss
The Gene’ by Siddhartha Mukherjee
I Contain Multitudes’ by Ed Yong

The two fiction contenders on the 2017 shortlist – ‘The Tidal Zone’ by Sarah Moss and ‘Mend the Living’ by Maylis de Kerangal – both celebrate and interrogate the intricacies of modern-day healthcare systems.

This year’s four non-fiction titles shine a light on the human stories behind scientific developments and medical care, as well as opening doors to extraordinary new worlds. Val McDermid commented on behalf of the judging panel:

“What these six challenging, diverse and enriching titles have in common is their insight into what it means to be human. Together they form a mosaic that illuminates our relationship with health and medicine. It spans our origins, our deaths and much that lies between, from activism to acts of human kindness.”

Kirty Topiwala, Publisher at Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Book Prize Manager, said:

“With so many new books now being published in this area, the quality of this selection is necessarily high, and we are immensely proud of this year’s superb shortlist. Each of these books offers the reader something different, but they all capture the acute pleasures and pains of being human.”

The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced on 24 April at Wellcome Collection.