Author is in the running for award

Berwick-based author Jessie Greengrass has been longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize, for her debut novel Sight.

Friday, 8th February 2019, 09:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 16:11 pm
Berwick author Jessie Greengrass. Picture by Sophie Davidson

Jessie is the Women’s Fiction Prize shortlisted author of the short story collection An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It.

Sight is described as an exquisite, self-aware novel, exploring medicine, pregnancy and parenthood, while reflecting on what we can know of our bodies, ourselves and of others.

Woven among personal stories about the narrator’s maternal relationships with her mother, grandmother and unborn child, are significant events in medical history from Wilhelm Rontgen’s the discovery of x-ray; Sigmund Freud’s development of psychoanalysis and the origins of modern surgery and the anatomy of pregnant bodies.

The Wellcome Book Prize is a unique showcase of fiction and non-fiction works that illuminate our relationship with health, medicine and illness.

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Authors from the UK, USA, India, Australia, Nigeria and Ireland are in contention for the £30,000 prize.

This year’s longlist of 12 titles has been chosen by a judging panel chaired by acclaimed novelist Elif Shafak.

She said: “In a world that remains sadly divided into echo chambers and mental ghettoes, this prize is unique in its ability to connect various disciplines: medicine, health, literature, art and science. Reading and discussing at length all the books on our list has been fascinating from the very start. We now have a wonderful longlist, of which we are all very proud. Although it sure won’t be easy to choose the shortlist, and then, finally, the winner, I am thrilled about and truly grateful for this fascinating journey.”

The shortlist will be announced on March 19, with the winner revealed on May 1.