Alice LaPlante wins Wellcome Trust Book Prize
11th November 2011
Alice LaPlante has won the GBP 25,000 Wellcome Trust Book Prize for her novel Turn of Mind, beating off stiff competition from a shortlist including Philip Roth's Nemesis and Siddhartha Mukherjee's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies.
The annual prize is awarded to works of both fiction and non-fiction on the theme of health and medicine, with Turn of Mind praised by the judging panel for appealing to literature lovers and science enthusiasts alike.
Written from the perspective of a former surgeon in the final stages of Alzheimer's who is accused of murdering her best friend, the book was described as 'technically daring' by Vivienne Parry, chair of the judging panel.
'Turn of Mind tells a gripping story in the voice of someone actually afflicted with Alzheimer's and emphatically confirms the ability of literature to tell us more about the heart and soul of an illness than any textbook,' she added.
LaPlante follows in the footsteps of 2010 winner Rebecca Skloot, whose book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was praised by judges for sensitively and informatively documenting the work of a pioneer in cervical cancer research who was forced to deal with race and class issues on a daily basis.
The 2011 Wellcome Trust Book Prize has been won by Alice LaPlante for her debut novel Turn of Mind.