Local NHS consultant announced as award winning author

19 February 2019

A consultant forensic psychiatrist from a local NHS Trust has recently been awarded a publishing contract with a prestigious publishing house in London.

This is the result of an award-winning essay written by Professor Taj Nathan. Professor Nathan works for local NHS provider, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP). He has worked at CWP for over three years. Based at the Saddlebridge Recovery Centre in Macclesfield, he conducts research across the organisation’s footprint, covering Cheshire and Wirral.

In addition to his work at CWP, Professor Nathan has always held an interest in the origins of violent thoughts.

A shortened version of his essay: “Dangerous Minds: searching for the origins of psychotic violence” was published in The Spectator, a monthly current affairs magazine, on Saturday 17 November 2018. This was due to the essay being the winner of the John Murray Prize, a competition organised by John Murray publishing, to celebrate the illustrious publishing house’s 250th anniversary.

To win the prize, Professor Nathan wrote his essay on the theme of ‘Origins’ and as a result of winning, he has been awarded a publishing contract with the company.

Professor Nathan’s passion for the subject is clear. He said: “I had been thinking about writing a book about violence for some time. I think it is important to understand the issue so we can help to alleviate it in some way. With this competition, I saw an opportunity to put forward some ideas I had in my mind.

“The brief for the competition was the subject of ‘Origins’ and so I chose the origins of violence, as it has been a subject I have been interested in for over 20 years. It also helped that the prize was a publishing contract.”

On top of his role at CWP, he is a visiting professor at the University of Chester, and was appointed as an adjunct professor at Liverpool John Moores University in November 2018.  

As a result of winning the essay competition, he is currently writing his book.

“I’m hoping to have a first draft of the book completed by the end of 2019,” he says, “but it is quite a challenge! I have been involved in publishing in academic journals before, but never a book written by myself alone. However, it does help that the origin of violence and understanding its causes is an absolute passion of mine.”

His talent did not go unnoticed by the publishers.

Nick Davies, from John Murray Publishers said: “Celebrating John Murray’s extraordinary history was always going to be a pleasure. But we wanted to mark the 250th anniversary by looking to the future too. Taj Nathan is a real talent. His insider’s account on the origins of violence promises to be both highly original and deeply thought-provoking. We are delighted to welcome him to the John Murray family in this very special year.” 

In addition, the University of Chester also wanted to pay tribute to Professor Nathan and his upcoming book.

Professor John Williams, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences at the University of Chester, added: “Professor Nathan is a valued member of the Chester Medical School team and has contributed to the development and delivery of a number of medical education and research programmes. We are delighted to see this award and look forward to seeing the publication of his book.”

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