Norwich-based author Sarah Perry longlisted for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize

Author Sarah Perry. Photo: Jamie Drew.

Author Sarah Perry. Photo: Jamie Drew. - Credit: Jamie Drew

Norwich-based author Sarah Perry has been longlisted for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize for her novel The Essex Serpent.

Her book is one of 12 longlisted for the £30,000 prize, which celebrates fiction and non-fiction engaged with the topics of health and medicine. The Essex Serpent - published by Serpent's Tail, Profile Books - examines the Victorian conflict between science and religion. Set in 1893, it sees Cora Seaborne and her son move to Colchester where rumours reach them the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned. Cora, a keen naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is convinced it may simply be an undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she collides with William Ransome, Aldwinter's vicar. The book was Waterstones Book of the Year 2016. The 2017 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist will be announced on March 14. Visit

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