Indian-American physician-author Siddhartha Mukherjee on UK non-fiction prize longlist
- United Kingdom
Indian-American physician-author Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee's 'The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human' has been longlisted for the prestigious Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction here on Wednesday.
The New York-based cancer physician and researcher, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, will go up against 12 other authors from around the world for the annual GBP 50,000 prize, which aims to recognise and reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of any nationality. Mukherjee's longlisted work has been described as at once panoramic and intimate and the author's "most spectacular book yet''.
"The cell is the foundational unit of life. Its discovery reshaped our understanding of our bodies and brains as never before," note the judges with reference to the 53-year-old's latest work.
"This revolutionised medical practice in the past and, centuries on, holds ever-greater clinical promise for the future. Mukherjee provides the definitive account of this remarkable cellular story, authoritative yet at the same time personal. He has that rarest of scientific gifts – the ability to pull back the magical curtain of complexities to reveal, like cells themselves, the foundations of life," they said.
Others in the running include John Vaillant's look at the reality of climate change, 'Fire Weather'; Chris van Tulleken's dietary warning 'Ultra Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn't Food… and Why Can't We Stop?'; Nathan Thrall's 'A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: A Palestine Story'; Tiya Miles for 'All That She Carried'; Katja Hoyer's portrait of East Germany in 'Beyond the Wall'; Jennifer Homans for 'Mr. B: George Balanchine's Twentieth Century'; David Grann for 'The Wager'.
Jeremy Eichler for 'Time's Echo: The Second World War, The Holocaust, and The Music of Remembrance'; Christopher Clarke for 'Revolutionary Spring: Fighting for a New World 1848-1849'; Tania Branigan's look at China's Cultural Revolution in 'Red Memory: Living, Remembering and Forgetting China's Cultural Revolution'; Hannah Barnes for 'Time to Think'; and 'Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity' by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson were also included.
The longlist of 13 books was chosen by this year's judging panel, which includes the Literary Editor of 'The Financial Times' Frederick Studemann, who is also chair of the panel, along with award-winning author Andrea Wulf, theatre critic for 'The Guardian' Arifa Akbar, writer and historian Ruth Scurr, journalist and critic Tanjil Rashid, and Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts Andrew Haldane.
"Given the wealth of options on offer, getting to a longlist was never going to be easy. And indeed, our judging discussions were intense and rigorous - and also enjoyable and highly stimulating," said Studemann.
"I'm delighted that the resulting longlist spans a wide range of subjects and genres - from history and science to technology and geopolitics along with a flash of swashbuckling adventure. The books on the longlist share an ability to communicate lucidly and engage with readers in an intelligent and relevant way," he said.
The prize covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. As part of the celebrations marking the prize's 25th anniversary, it has been announced that as well as the winning author receiving GBP 50,000, the other shortlisted authors will receive GBP 5,000 (up from GBP 1,000), bringing the total prize value up to GBP 75,000.
The announcement of the six books shortlisted for this year's prize will take place on October 8 in a live event at England's annual Cheltenham Literature Festival, and the winner will be awarded on November 16 at a ceremony at the Science Museum in London.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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