High calibre short-list for Mind Book of Year 2004 announced
Posted Saturday 24 April 2004
Eclectic list portrays the impact of mental health from historical, legislative and intimately personal perspectives.
Mental health charity Mind today announces the short-listed titles for the 23rd Mind Book of the Year Award 2004. This year the high-calibre short-list includes writing from a dazzling array of heavy-weights, drawn from the worlds of literature, journalism and even acting.
The charity will announce the winning book at a special awards ceremony at Glaziers Hall on London's South Bank, hosted by Mind's President Melvyn Bragg on Wednesday 19 May. The judges, Fay Weldon, Blake Morrison and Michele Roberts will also be present at the ceremony.
This year the judges read over 120 entries in order to select the final short-list for the prize. They will be picking a winner from the six books which have all been chosen for their enlightening portrayals of mental health. This year the shortlist covers an exciting and diverse range of issues and subject matter:
A double life by Sarah Burton (Penguin)
This enthralling account tells for the first time the full story behind extraordinary siblings Charles and Mary Lamb. The Lambs are perhaps most famous for their literary reputation at the centre of the Romantic Movement. However, more intriguing was their inseparable bond with each other. This mesmerising portrait reveals in full this relationship and the mental distress which plagued the couple throughout their lives.
Giving up the ghost by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)
In this wry, shocking and uniquely unusual five-part autobiography, award-winning novelist Mantel takes us on a journey through childhood, family, bereavement, education and an enchanting account of the ghosts which still haunt her as a writer.
Mourning Ruby by Helen Dunmore (Penguin)
This eighth novel from this highly acclaimed author is her most ambitious yet. The author contemplates love, loss and mourning with both texture and tenderness. The tale unfolds of a mother, herself abandoned at birth, who facing the ultimate tragedy in the death of her child, finds her life unravel before her as she tries to escape the unbearable present.
Time out of mind by Jane Lapotaire (Time Warner)
Distinguished actress Lapotaire eloquently, honestly and movingly charts her recovery from a burst middle cerebral artery aneurysm, which left her unconscious and in intensive care for weeks. This memoir eloquently recounts the author's adjustment to the irrevocable changes in her brain and her life, through the gamut of emotions. Rage, frustration, dark wit and triumph converge to provide an inspiring and compelling read.
The pits and the pendulum by Brian Adams (Jessica Kingsley)
Through the author's eyes we relive the highs and lows of 30 years of living with manic depression. This engaging account gives the reader a rich insight into the manifestations of uninhibited energy that mania brings, through to the deep lows of debilitating depression that led him to almost take his life.
Pure madness by Jeremy Laurance (Routledge)
The health editor of the Independent offers a thought-provoking account of a mental health system still largely driven by fear. This, he argues, has led the Government to focus on increased coercion, and risk reduction through physical and chemical containment, despite dramatic improvements in mental health services in recent years and the range of imaginative initiatives that now exist.
Supporters of the Mind Book of the Year Award Foyles will be holding a reading at their Charing Cross Road bookshop in London on the evening of 6 May. The short-listed authors will be reading from their books on the night. View pictures from the reading. Book of the Year judges Fay Weldon and Michele Roberts will also be attending.
As well as the Book of the Year Award, Mind will be presenting the Journalist of the Year Award for the most enlightened coverage of a mental health issue in the press last year; and the Mind Champion of the Year for the most important contribution in challenging discrimination against people with mental health problems.
Notes to Editors: This year the Mind Book of the Year is being supported by the Independent on Sunday and Foyles Bookshops.