The shortlist for the 2009 Book Prize can be found below. Chair of the judging panel, comedian Jo Brand, described the list as "incredibly broad, exciting and wide-ranging".
Cutting for Stone
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin sons of a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon at 'Missing' hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the brothers come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that tears them apart and forces Marion to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as a surgical intern at an underfunded, overcrowded hospital. When the past catches up with him, Marion must trust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him, and the brother who betrayed him.
Publisher: Random House - Chatto & Windus
Keeper: Living with Nancy - a journey into Alzheimer's
Andrea Gillies made the decision to take on the full-time care of her mother-in-law, Nancy, an Alzheimer's sufferer. With her family, she moved to a remote peninsula in northern Scotland to a house with space to accommodate Nancy and her elderly husband, and there embarked on an extraordinary journey.
'Keeper' describes the emotional strain of living with Alzheimer?s, the trials faced by both sufferer and carer, when patience and obligations are pushed to the limit. The book is also a brilliantly illuminating examination of the disease itself. It explores the brain and consciousness, and tackles profound questions about the self, the soul and how memory informs who we are.
Publisher: Short Books