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Wellcome Trust Book Prize won by Andrea Gillies

6th November 2009

Andrea Gillies has won the inaugural Wellcome Trust Book Prize for her account of dementia.

Keeper, the author's account of her time caring for her mother-in-law who had Alzheimer's disease, has been named as the award's first winning title, scooping the writer a cheque for GBP 25,000.

Comedienne 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.'

In a recent interview with the Sheffield Star, Gillies explained that she was inspired to write Keeper after seeing how dementia not only affects the sufferer but also those around them.

A number of prominent writers sat on the judging panel, such as physician Raymond Tallis, BBC science journalist Quentin Cooper and Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis.

The Wellcome Trust Book Prize was established to recognise works of fiction and non-fiction that look at the links between medicine, society and culture.

Other books featured on the prize's shortlist included Allegra Goodman's Intuition, Illness by Havi Carel and Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone.

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