Andrea Gillies’ KEEPER, published by Short Books, has won the inaugural Wellcome Trust Book Prize, an award worth £25,000.
The Wellcome Trust Book Prize is awarded to the finest fiction or non-fiction book of the year in which medicine (or medical science) is a central theme.
In KEEPER, Andrea Gillies writes about her decision to take on the full-time care of her mother-in-law, an Alzheimer’s sufferer. Jo Brand, chair of the judging panel, said: “Andrea Gillies’ account of living with Alzheimer’s is the perfect fusion of narrative with enough memorable science not to choke you. It’s a fantastic book—down to earth and darkly comic in places. The judges found it compelling.”
Alongside Jo Brand, who is a comedienne, author and former psychiatric nurse, the other judges were BBC science journalist Quentin Cooper; former Welsh National Poet and non-fiction writer Gwyneth Lewis; poet and medical historian Richard Barnett; and author, poet and medical professor Raymond Tallis.
The other shortlisted books were ‘Illness’ by Havi Carel (Acumen Publishing); ‘Tormented Hope’ by Brian Dillon (Penguin Ireland); ‘Intuition’ by Allegra Goodman (Atlantic Books); ‘Three Letter Plague’ by Jonny Steinberg (Random House/Vintage); and ‘Cutting for Stone’ by Abraham Verghese (Random House/Chatto).