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  • Published: 5 December 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529111781
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $35.00

The Song of the Cell

An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human

From the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene, the stunning odyssey of the cell - the key to life and ourselves

**Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2023**


From the dawn of life itself, every being that has ever lived owes its existence to the cell.

'Will leave you in awe' Guardian

The discovery of this vital form led to a transformation in medicine but also in our understanding of ourselves - not as bodies or machines but as ecosystems. It has also given us the power to treat a vast array of mortal maladies...and even to create new kinds of human altogether.

Rich with stories of scientists, doctors and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, The Song of the Cell is a stunning ode to the building blocks of life and the cutting-edge science harnessing their power for the better.

'Profound...As big a topic as life itself' The Times

'Medical magic' Daily Telegraph

'Vast...important...optimistic' Mail on Sunday

  • Published: 5 December 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529111781
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher, a stem cell biologist and a cancer geneticist. He is the author of The Laws of Medicine and The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction and the Guardian First Book Award.

Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. A Rhodes Scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. His laboratory has identified genes that regulate stem cells, and his team is internationally recognized for its discovery of skeletal stem cells and genetic alterations in blood cancers.

He has published work in Nature, Cell, Neuron, The New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times and several other magazine and journals. He lives with his family in New York City.

Also by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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Praise for The Song of the Cell

Deeply researched, The Song of the Cell is an extraordinary journey through the history of discovery to the most innovative cellular medicine practiced today and the promise of what lies ahead.

Paul Nurse, Nobel Laureate Physiology or Medicine 2001

Part mystery, part adventure story, The Song of the Cell is an irresistible foray into the frontiers of medical science [and] a reminder of the power of human ingenuity that is likely to leave readers both enlightened and hopeful.

Jennifer Egan, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning A Visit from the Goon Squad

An extraordinarily gifted storyteller... The author's ideas about the near future of medicine are both convincing and inspiring. This is another winner from Mukherjee.

Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

Brilliant ... medical magic ... written with compassionate warmth and humour

Daily Telegraph

A lively, personal, detailed, often moving account of the cell in medical history and its promise in the present


For anyone who wants to understand the building blocks of their own bodies - which everyone surely should - this is an informative and entertaining introduction


Some of the writing in The Song of the Cell is so lovely that you can get caught up in its music

New York Times

Audacious...mesmerizing...reliably engaging... Mukherjee enthusiastically instructs and... delights - all the while hustling us across a preposterously vast and intricate landscape

Wall Street Journal

A lively, thought-provoking book... Mukherjee comes across not only as a brilliant researcher but also as a deeply empathetic human being

Literary Review

If you are not already in awe of biology, The Song of the Cell might get you there. It is a masterclass


A masterclass in cell function that will leave you in awe of biology

Suzanne O'Sullivan, Guardian

Wonderfully ambitious... Cell biology is complex and as big a topic as life itself; I'm not sure a writer could cover it better

The Times

Vast, important ... optimistic

Mail on Sunday


The Times

One of the most admired doctors in the world

The Times

A passionate, expert guide ... Mukherjee's ambition has once again paid off, creating an encyclopaedic exploration of how we got to this point - and sketching out the questions we must ask about the future

Financial Times

A confident, timely - and most importantly, biologically precise - exploration of what it means to be human


A remarkable achievement - a fascinating and highly readable crash course on the complexities of cellular physiology and of life itself

New Statesman

This complex portrait illuminates cells' roles in immunity, reproduction, sentience, cognition, repair and rejuvenation


A tour d'horizon of cell theory... part history lesson, part biology lesson and part reminder of how science itself actually proceeds

Economist, *Books of the Year*

This complex portrait illuminates cells' roles in immunity, reproduction, sentience, cognition, repair and rejuvination, malfunctions such as cancer, and treatments such as blood transfusions, drawing on author Siddhartha Mukherjee's varied experience as an immunologist, stem-cell scientist, cancer biologist and medical oncologist


The book is, at root, a call for a more integrated biology ... What gives The Song of the Cell its persuasiveness in calling for that new vision is precisely that it comes from a clinician steeped in the traditions of genomic and cell biology, and who has seen both the power and limitations of those approaches to produce actual cures


What truly elevates the book are Mukherjee's accounts of his experiences as a clinician and the stories of the patients he has encountered. Some are moving, and all are reflective and insightful

Philip Ball, Lancet

All of us will get sick at some point. All of us will have loved ones who get sick. To understand what's happening in those moments - and to feel optimistic that things will get better - it helps to know something about cells, the building blocks of life. Mukherjee's latest book will give you that knowledge ... Mukherjee, who's both an oncologist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, brings all of his skills to bear in this fantastic book

Bill Gates