Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014 Wellcome Book Prize

This book award has an interesting focus. The Wellcome Book Prize celebrates outstanding writing that focuses on health or medicine. From their website:

At some point, medicine touches all our lives. Books that find stories in those brushes with medicine are ones that add new meaning to what it means to be human. The subjects these books grapple with might include birth and beginnings, illness and loss, pain, memory, and identity. In keeping with its vision and goals, the Wellcome Book Prize aims to excite public interest and encourage debate around these topics.

This year's winner is Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree: parents, children and thesearch for identity.

"All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent." publisher

The other nominees were:

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Wounded by Emily Mayhew
Creation by Adam Rutherford
Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise
Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

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