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Siddhartha Mukherjee , Emerging Physician Invited On The Uk Nonfiction Prize Longlist

Indian-Origin Physician

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human, written by Indian-American
physician Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, was named to the long list for the prestigious Baillie Gifford
Prize for Non-Fiction on Wednesday.
The Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University and New York-based cancer
researcher will compete against 12 other authors for the annual GBP 50,000 prize, which honours
the best non-fiction works and is open to authors of any nationality. The long-listed novel by
Mukherjee has been called the author’s “most spectacular book yet” and is simultaneously
expansive and close-knit.
The fundamental building block of life is the cell. Regarding the 53-year-old’s most recent work, the
judges state, “Its finding transformed our understanding of our bodies and minds like never before.
Mukherjee offers the conclusive narrative of this unique cellular story—one that is both
authoritative and intimate. He possesses that rarest of scientific talents: the capacity to lift the
enchanted drape of complexity to expose, like the cells themselves, the very building blocks of life.
Others up for consideration include John Vaillant’s examination of climate change, “Fire Weather.”
Chris van Tulleken’s dietary cautionary tale, Ultra-Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That
Isn’t Food… and Why Can’t We Stop? Tiya Miles, for “All That She Carried, Katja Hoyer, for her
portrayal of East Germany in “Beyond the Wall, Jennifer Homans for “Mr. B: George Bal
The works of 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 for “Red Memory: Living, Remembering, and Forgetting China’s
Cultural Revolution, Hannah Barnes for “Time to Think,” and Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson
for “Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and
The Literary Editor of “The Financial Times,” Frederick Studemann, who serves as the panel’s
chair, the award-winning author Andrea Wulf, the theatre critic for “The Guardian,” Arifa Akbar, the
author and historian Ruth Scurr, the journalist and critic Tanjil Rashid, and the Chief Executive of
the Royal Society of Arts, Andrew Haldane, selected the longlist of 13 books.
“Getting to a longlist was never going to be simple given the abundance of possibilities available.
We had difficult and demanding judging conversations, but they were also entertaining and very
engaging, according to Studemann.
“I’m happy to see that the final longlist covers a broad range of topics and genres, including history,
science, technology, geopolitics, and a brief burst of swashbuckling adventure. The works on the
longlist all possess a clear communication style and clever, pertinent reader engagement, the critic
The award is open to all non-fiction works in the fields of biography, autobiography, history, politics,
science, athletics, and the arts. The winning author will get GBP 50,000 as part of the festivities
honoring the award’s 25th anniversary, while the other shortlisted authors will each receive GBP
5,000 (up from GBP 1,000), bringing the total prize value to GBP 75,000.
The six novels that have been shortlisted for this year’s prize will be announced live on stage at
England’s Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 8; the prize winner will be announced on
November 16 at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London.

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