British author Will Eaves has been awarded the 10th anniversary Wellcome Book Prize for his novel Murmur, inspired by the life and legacy of Alan Turing.
Taking its cue from the arrest and legally-enforced chemical castration of Turing, Eaves fictionalizes the devastating period before the mathematician’s death in an extraordinary contemplation of consciousness. Through Alec Pryor – the book’s avatar for Turing – Eaves seamlessly fuses art and science to create a feverish meditation on love, state-sanctioned homophobia and knowledge, alongside an exploration of sexuality, identity and artificial intelligence.
Elif Shafak, Chair of Judges said, “Murmur is a hugely impressive book that will grip you in the very first pages, break your heart halfway through, and in the end, strangely, unexpectedly, restore your faith in human beings, and their endless capacity for resilience.”
The Wellcome Trust, which was founded by Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936, is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement.
The Wellcome Book Prize is an annual award, open to new works of fiction or non-fiction with central themes that engage with some aspect of medicine or health. The aim of the Wellcome Book Prize is to encourage public involvement and encourage debate about the issues that the shortlisted books raise and to bring new writers and readers to the subjects of medicine and health.