‘Wellcome Book Prize 2017: The Story' – 29th April

Award-winning author Val McDermid will be exploring books that grapple with life and death as part of the next Saturday Evening Lecture at the University of Dundee.


The crime writer will be discussing this year’s Wellcome Book Prize, a competition which celebrates works of fiction or non-fiction that engage with some aspect of medicine.


Val has chaired this year’s Prize, and will be talking about the list of titles on Saturday, 29th April in the Dalhousie Building. It will be chaired by Professor Dame Sue Black.


At some point, medicine touches all of our lives. The subjects these books grapple with might include birth and beginnings, illness and loss, pain, memory, and identity. The Wellcome Book Prize aims to excite public interest and encourage debate around these topics.

Val McDermid said, “This year’s shortlist features six challenging, diverse and enriching titles. What they have in common is their insight into what it means to be human. Together they form a mosaic that illuminates our relationship with health and medicine. It spans our origins, our deaths and much that lies between, from activism to acts of human kindness.”

This event is part of the Saturday Evening Lecture Series and takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Saturday, 29th April from 7-8pm. Free tickets for this event are available by visiting www.dundee.ac.uk/sels, emailing events@dundee.ac.uk, calling 01382 385108 or from the University’s Tower Building Reception.

Please note that overflow theatres may be in use and the Main Lecture Theatre is filled on a first come, first seated basis.

The full 2017 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist is:


  • How to Survive a Plague by David France (USA) Picador, Pan Macmillan
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi(USA) The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House
  • Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (France) trans. Jessica Moore MacLehose Press
  • The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss(UK) Granta Books
  • The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee(USA) The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House
  • I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong(UK) The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House

The winner will be announced on Monday, 24th April.


For media enquiries contact:
Cara Longmuir
Media Relations Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 385243
Email: c.z.longmuir@dundee.ac.uk