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Siddhartha Mukherjee wins Guardian First Book Award

2nd December 2011

Siddhartha Mukherjee has won the Guardian First Book Award for his 'biography of cancer' The Emperor of All Maladies.

The award is one of the UK's most prestigious prizes for debut authors and is worth GBP 10,000 to the winner, with Mukherjee beating off competition from a strong shortlist.

The Emperor of All Maladies was the only non-fiction title on the shortlist, with Stephen Kelman's Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Pigeon English and Amy Waldman's critically acclaimed The Submission the bookmakers' favourites before the winner was announced.

However, chair of judges Lisa Allardice, editor of Guardian Review, said Mukherjee's work is a 'remarkable and unusual achievement', describing it as an 'anthropomorphism of a disease'.

'In the end it came down to a very difficult decision between a first novel [The Submission] and a first book of tremendous research. They were so different, but in the end the Mukherjee book was felt to be the more original,' she added.

Mukherjee, who also scooped the Pulitzer Prize this year and is currently working on his second book, said it was 'a great and distinct honour' to win the Guardian First Book Award, dedicating his triumph to the men and women across the world who are battling cancer or dealing with the after-effects.

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