A relatively new prize, the three-year-old  Wellcome Trust Book Prize for the “best of medicine in literature” has been awarded to a work of fiction for the first time. Alice LaPlante’s debut novel, Turn of Mind  (Atlantic Monthly, 7/5; Audio, Brilliance; Large Print, Thorndike; audio and eBook, OverDrive) is a mystery with a twist. The protagonist, a brilliant woman surgeon, is under suspicion of murder, but because of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, she does not know if she is guilty.

The book won over a distinguished short list, which includes Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies.

The prize committee chair described the book as “…a gripping, intricately plotted, and profoundly moving novel that takes the reader deep inside the mind of someone whose memories are being eroded by Alzheimer’s. As with all the books shortlisted for the Prize, it has something both interesting and important to say about the place of medicine and disease in our lives.”

The book has had a strong audience in libraries, showing holds of 10:1 this summer. Heavy holds continue in several libraries

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