Edmund de Waal to chair the Wellcome Book Prize 2018

Published

The judging panel for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize has been announced.

 

Artist and writer Edmund de Waal OBE has been announced as Chair of the judging panel for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize. Now in its ninth year, the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates exceptional books that engage with the topics of health and medicine and the many ways they touch our lives.

Edmund is joined on the panel by Dr Hannah Critchlow, neuroscientist and Science Outreach Fellow at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge; Bryony Gordon, journalist, author and mental health campaigner; Sumit Paul-Choudhury, editor-in-chief of New Scientist; and Sophie Ratcliffe, writer, critic and associate professor of English literature at the University of Oxford.

The judging panel will select a longlist of up to 12 books in February 2018, followed by a shortlist of six books in March 2018, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony at Wellcome Collection in April 2018.

The £30,000 prize is open to new fiction and non-fiction books published in the UK between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017. Submissions for the 2018 prize must be received by 5pm today, Friday 8 September; the submission form can be found on wellcomebookprize.org.

Edmund commented on behalf of the judging panel:

“It’s a privilege to have been asked to chair the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize alongside such esteemed fellow judges. The prize celebrates the infinite ways we can connect with the themes of health and medicine through reading, and I have no doubt that we will be entertained, challenged and moved by this year’s submissions. I am looking forward to discussing these books with the panel, as we explore this dynamic relationship between art, science and the human experience.”

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

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce Edmund de Waal as the Chair of the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize, alongside a talented panel of judges. Each judge will bring something different and valuable to the deliberations. I can’t wait to see what Edmund, Hannah, Bryony, Sumit and Sophie choose for their longlist.”

Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore, was chosen as the winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2017 from a shortlist of six books, which also included How to Survive a Plague by David France, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss, The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee and I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong.

The prize has previously been awarded to Suzanne O’Sullivan for It’s All in Your Head (2016), Marion Coutts for The Iceberg (2015), Andrew Solomon for Far from the Tree (2014), Thomas Wright for Circulation (2012), Alice LaPlante for Turn of Mind (2011), Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010) and Andrea Gillies for Keeper: Living with Nancy – a journey into Alzheimer’s (2009).

For all press, submission and administration enquiries, please contact Midas Public Relations:

Hannah McMillan: hannah.mcmillan@midaspr.co.uk / 020 7361 7860

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the Wellcome Book Prize

Worth £30,000, the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates the best new books that engage with an aspect of medicine, health or illness, showcasing the breadth and depth of our encounters with medicine through exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction.

In April, Maylis de Kerangal and Jessica Moore won the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize for Mend the Living, a novel in translation. Previous winners of the prize include Suzanne O’Sullivan for It’s All in Your Head in 2016, Marion Coutts for The Iceberg in 2015, Andrew Solomon for Far from the Tree in 2014, Thomas Wright for Circulation in 2012, Alice LaPlante for Turn of Mind in 2011, Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in 2010 and Andrea Gillies for Keeper: Living with Nancy – a journey into Alzheimer’s in 2009.

About Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library exploring health, life and our place in the world. Through exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital, broadcast and publishing, Wellcome Collection creates opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection makes thought-provoking content that encourages everyone to reflect on what it means to be human.

Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Both politically and financially independent, it supports scientists and researchers, takes on big problems, fuels imaginations and sparks debate.

For information please contact Emily Philippou: e.philippou@wellcome.ac.uk | 020 7611 8726