Indian American Siddhartha Mukherjee Bags Pulitzer

Washington, April 19 (IANS) Indian American cancer specialist Siddhartha Mukherjee has bagged this year's Pulitzer prize in the general non-fiction category for his book "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer".

Delhi-born Mukherjee's book has been described as "an elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science".

The finalists in the category were "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain" by Nicholas Carr and "Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History" by S.C. Gwynne.

An assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center, Mukherjee had told IANS in December last year: "Cancer is growing dramatically in certain parts of South Asia."

Mukherjee advocated a strong anti-smoking campaign and breast cancer screening to battle the growing incidence of the disease in India.

Less than a month after its publication, Mukherjee's book, published by Scribner, featured among "The 10 Best Books of 2010" in the New York Times Book Reviews Sunday, a rare feat for a work of non-fiction.

The doctor blamed increase in cancer in tobacco smoking as "clearly one culprit among young men and women".

"But there are other culprits too," he said. "As the population ages and other diseases are slowly eliminated, cancer begins to come about."

"Cancer rises in the double negative only when all the other killers have been killed. So I think that's beginning to occur in some parts of South Asia."

Mukherjee, 40, who grew up in New Delhi's Safdarjung Enclave, "immersed in reading and books" at home and studied at St. Columba's School, says he "came into oncology in a sort of reverse, in the sense that I first trained as a cellular biologist when I was in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar".

"So I really came from the cell into medicine. Many people first train in medicine, then eventually get fascinated by cells."

The book isn't meant for the medical profession alone, he said. "The target is everyone. The point of this book was to make this world of medicine and science and culture accessible to anyone who is interested," Mukherjee told IANS.

"This is a disease that has developed in our times in a very poignant way. So I intend this book to be read by anyone who wishes to find out about it: patients and people whose loved ones are affected by cancer or any person interested in its history."


Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • Satish Chandra, Toronto

    Wed, Apr 20 2011

    The Indian press is full of headlines like "Indian-American wins Pulitzer prize for book on cancer". What is so great about a history of cancer? Has he found a cure for cancer? I have. The entire physiology of an organism can be conceived of as a network of interlinked biological clocks. The disease process in cancer involves changes in biological clocks. In my laboratory research with rats I discovered a way to drastically modify biological clocks at a very fundamental level which provides a way to alter the disease process in cancer, as well as do other things such as drastic changes in perception. The physical world or a particular physical object is a collection of properties (color, size, shape, etc.) which are products of perception formed during phylogenesis (evolution of the species) and ontogenesis (conditioning during the life of a particular organism). Miraculous acts of Indian Yogis in altering both their own physiology (such as living on little or no food) and properties of the physical world (such as overcoming gravity or walking through walls as Deepak Chopra, M.D. described seeing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi do in one of his books) are a matter of altering biological clocks, such as drastically slowing down breathing rate. I am India's expert in strategic defence, the father of India's strategic program including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and the world's greatest scientist and my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.' which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title describes how C.I.A.-RAW keep India poor, weak and enslaved by suppressing the best and rewarding the mediocre: "India's greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India's RAW and India's C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media" and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States. Within the above blog look for 'How India's Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year Or More' and 'What You Should Know About RAW'.

    Satish Chandra

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Apr 19 2011

    Hats off & congrats to Dr. Siddhartha for his outstanding work.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title: Indian American Siddhartha Mukherjee Bags Pulitzer

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.