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    Do No Harm by Henry Marsh Wins PEN Ackerley Prize 2015

    On 29th of June the winner of the PEN Ackerley Prize 2015, given to a literary biography of excellence, was announced to be neurosurgeon Henry Marsh. Marsh won the £3000 prize for his autobiography Do Not Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery. Set up after his death, the award is given to a literary autobiography of excellence, written by an author of British nationality, for which is it felt that J. R. Ackerley – author and long-time literary editor of The Listener magazine – would have expressed enthusiasm. It is also the UK's only literary prize devoted to memoir and autobiography.

    'Do No Harm is an unforgettable insight into the life of a neurosurgeon, documenting the risks and decisions that have to be made everyday in the face of endless uncertainty. Chair of judges Peter Parker said ‘Henry Marsh's Do No Harm was, outstanding… beautifully written, recklessly honest and morally complex.’ (source)

    The book's triumph follows shortlistings for the Wellcome Book Prize, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Costa Biography Award. 

    Previous winners include Sonali Deraniyagala, Richard Holloway and Duncan Fallowell.

    We're delighted for Henry Marsh and wish him every congratulations on winning the award.

    Do No Harm is available now.

    Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award, the Guardian First Book Award and Longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

    What is it like to be a brain surgeon? How does it feel to hold someone's life in your hands, to cut through the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason? How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong? Do No Harm offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity. With astonishing candour and compassion, Henry Marsh reveals the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern hospital and above all the need for hope when faced with life's most agonising decisions.

    ‘Exquisitely attuned to the tense and transient bond between doctor and patient […] and hilariously impatient of hospital management, Marsh draws us deep into medicine's most difficult art and lifts our spirits.’ IAN MCEWAN, Author.

    ‘Marsh has nothing to hide. […] He tries not to extinguish hope when there is barely any, and not to be forced to operate when the outlook is futile.’ THE TIMES

    Do No Harm is available now.

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