News: Medic Turned Comic Adam Kay Wins Major Book Prize

Junior Doctor-turned-comedian-turned-author Adam Kay has been named the winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers' Choice Award for his memoir This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor (Picador).

The darkly funny but also moving and powerful book charts his time in various hospitals training to be a doctor and lays bare the stresses and strains of working for the NHS today.

The award is voted for by the public. Kay's book also received the most votes in the Non Fiction category. 

Adam Kay said: “I’m beyond thrilled to win the Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction award and beyondbeyond thrilled to win the Readers’ Choice award. Thanks so much to the wonderful bookshops and booksellers who chose me for the shortlist, and to the book buyers who voted for me.  Lovely and humbling as it has been to read nice words about the book in the newspapers, I wrote it for readersnot newspapers, and that’s what makes this such an honour. 

“When the junior doctors were coming under fire from the government for ‘being greedy’ it was so heart-breaking that the medics were struggling to get their story across. (Presumably because they were working 97-hour weeks). Hopefully I’ve done my little bit to help people understand what it means to be a junior doctor and how ridiculous the government’s position is.” 

Kay has already signed a TV deal to adapt the book for television and also has a second book in the pipeline. 100 Patients Who Changed My Life will be published in autumn 2019 as a "superlead" Picador non-fiction title.

In the new book Kay will share more secrets from his time on the front line of the NHS. A memoir in 100 patients - "from the first cadaver Kay encountered at medical school to the emergencies that have arisen long after he hung up his stethoscope" - it is the story of the myriad ways a patient can leave an unforgettable mark on the life of the doctor who treats them.

Buy This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor here.

Read a review of the book here.

Other winners alongside Adam Kay

With seven winners across eight categories, The 2017 Books Are My Bag winners are:


Popular Fiction Winner: How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (Canongate)


Novel Winner: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet)


Non-Fiction Winner: This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (Picador)


Middle Grade Winner: Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll (Faber & Faber)


YA Winner: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)


Breakthrough Author Winner: Kate Tempest for The Bricks that Built the Houses (Bloomsbury)


Readers Choice Award: This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (Picador)


Beautiful Books Award: The Lost Words words by Robert Macfarlane and images by Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton)


The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards is sponsored by National Book Tokens and is the only book award curated by bookshops and voted for by book lovers. Bookshops across the country curated the shortlists across Popular Fiction, Non-Fiction, Novel, YA, Middle Grade and Breakthrough Author, with the public invited to vote for the winner in each category. The Beautiful Book category was purely voted for by bookshops, while Readers’ Choice was open to the public to nominate any book of their choice.


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