2017 National Book Critics Circle Award Winners

The 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award winners were announced tonight in New York City. Along with the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, John Leonard Prize, and Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, which were announced in January, the winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Criticism, Autobiography, and Biography were all presented. This year's recipients of the National Book Critics Circle Awards are: Fiction Improvement by Joan Silber (Silber's a Year in Reading alum) Nonfiction The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald Poetry Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (Recommended by our own Nick Ripatrazone) Criticism You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages by Carina Chocano Autobiography Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China by Xiaolu Guo Biography Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser [millions_ad]

2018 Man Booker International Prize Longlist

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After considering 108 titles, the Man Booker International Prize announced their 13-title longlist. The prize, which awards translated works of literature, considers both novels and short story collections translated into English and published in the UK. Here the 2018 longlist (with bonus links where available): The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet (Where Randomness and Madness Reign) The Imposter by Javier Cercas Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck (The Millions' review) The White Book by Han Kang Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai (our review of Krasznahorkai's collection) Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina The Flying Mountain by Christoph Ransmayr Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Saadawi's 2017 Year in Reading entry) Flights by Olga Tokarczuk The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra

2018 Aspen Words Literary Prize Shortlist

The Aspen Words Literary Prize announced their 2018 shortlist yesterday. The annual award is given to "an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture." This year's finalists are: What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Our review of Exit West) Mad Country by Samrat Upadhyay Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (The Millions' interview with Ward) The winner will be announced live at a ceremony on April 10th. [millions_ad]

2018 Caldecott, Newberry Winners and More Announced

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of the 2018 Youth Media Awards including the John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children's literature; the Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children; and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for an US-published author or illustrator who over the years has made a "substantial and lasting contribution to children's literature," among others. Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly won the 2018 Newbery Medal. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell won the 2018 Caldecott Medal. Jacqueline Woodson, whose works include Brown Girl Dreaming, Locomotion, and After Tupac & D Foster, won the 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. A sampling of other awards include: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson won the Coretta Scott King Book Award, which recognizes African American authors and illustrators of children's and YA novels. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say won the Schneider Family Book Award, which recognizes books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. For the full list of winners and honor recipients, visit the American Library Associations website.

2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist Announced

  The International Dylan Thomas Prize has announced their 2018 longlist. Named after Dylan Thomas, who died at 39, the prize is awarded for the best literary work published in English by an author aged 39 or under. The 12-book longlist included eight novels, two short story collections, and two volumes of poetry. Here are the 2018 longlist nominees: Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ Kumukanda by Kayo Chingonyi When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Our interview with Machado) Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Shortlisted for the Booker Prize) First Love by Gwendoline Riley Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (The Millions' review) Idaho by Emily Ruskovich My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent Attrib. and Other Stories by Eley Williams On Trust: A Book of Lies by James Womack The shortlist will be revealed at the end of March, and the winner will be announced on May 10, 2018. [millions_ad]

NBCC Announces 2017 Finalists

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The National Book Critics Circle announced their 2017 Award Finalists, and the winners of three awards: the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, John Leonard Prize, and Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. The finalists include 30 writers across six different categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Fiction, Poetry, and Criticism. Here are the finalists separated by genre: Fiction: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (The Millions' review) The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy Improvement by Joan Silber Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Read our interview with Ward) Nonfiction: Gulf: The Making of An American Sea by Jack Davis The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen (Read our 2017 interview with Gessen) Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford Biography: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel Gorbachev: His Life and Times by William Taubman Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte Autobiography: The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh The Girl From the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China by Xiaolu Guo Poetry: Fourth Person Singular by Nuar Alsadir Earthling by James Longenbach Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (Recommended by Contributing Editor Nick Ripatrazone) The Darkness of Snow by Frank Ormsby Directions for Use by Ana Ristović Criticism: You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages by Carina Chocano The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story by Edwidge Danticat Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History by Camille Dungy Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli (Review) Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News by Kevin Young (Read Young's Year in Reading) For the three stand along awards, here are the winners: John McPhee won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to letters and book culture, exploration of widely varying topics, and mentorship of young writers and journalists. Author and critic Charles Finch won the Nona Balakin Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. The John Leonard Prize—for a first book in any genre—went to Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties. The winners of the National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

2017 Costa Book Awards Shortlist Announced

The Costa Book Awards announced the shortlist for the 2017 season. The award, which honors works by authors based in the UK and Ireland, is given in five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children's Book. The shortlist included four writers in each category. This year, Orange prize-winning writer Helen Dunmore's poetry collection, Inside the Wave, was named posthumously to the Poetry shortlist. In the First Novel category, the following authors were shortlisted for their debut works of fiction: The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks; Montpelier Parade by Karl Geary; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; and The Haunting of Henry Twist by Rebecca F. John. In the Novel category, the following authors were nominated: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (who has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize twice); Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney (who won the 2006 First Novel category and Costa Book of the Year); Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (featured in our 2017 Second-Half Book Preview); and Tin Man by Sarah Winman. Winners in each category, as well as the overall Costa Book of the Year, will be announced in January.

David France Wins the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize

The Baillie Gifford Prize (previously the Samuel Johnson Prize), which celebrates the best non-fiction writing, awarded the 2017 prize to How to Survive a Plague by David France. How to Survive a Plague chronicles the AIDS epidemic from 1981 to 1996 when there was not an effective treatment for HIV and diagnosis meant almost certain death. A witness account—which revealed the often grueling, heartbreaking work and research done by patients and activists—brings to light the people who helped make HIV survivable. About the book, Sarah Whitley—partner of Baillie Gifford and Chair of its Sponsorship Committee—said: "I am pleased to award the second Baillie Gifford Prize to a book that combines a very important piece of social history, unforgettable to those of us who were young adults in the early 1980s, describes collective action in the face of official intransigence and also outlines the ultimate achievement of controlling a modern plague.” Bonus Links: How to Survive A Plague was featured in Richard Russo‘s 2016 year in reading. The Shortlist announcement which included our own Mark O'Connell.

2017 National Book Award Winners Announced

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The 2017 National Book Award winners were announced tonight in New York City. The big prize for Fiction went to Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. In her review for our site, Nur Nasreen Ibrahim wrote, "All of Ward’s characters in Sing, Unburied, Sing live with trauma." She continues: The dead in Sing, Unburied, Sing are needy because they have no choice. Trauma demands attention, yet that attention brings chaos into the characters’ lives. The act of writing and reading such stories also demands that oppressor and oppressed address their positions in an unjust society. Literature and history occupy the same role, as record-keepers of injustice, and of experiences. In her remarks beginning the awards ceremony, host Cynthia Nixon observed that 15 of the 20 finalists this year were women – the most ever – and when it was all was said and done, that 75% ratio held for the winners as well. For the record, male authors swept last year's awards. The award in the Young People's Literature category went to Robin Benway for Far from the Tree. The Nonfiction award went to Masha Gessen for The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. (Bonus: Our interview with Gessen from last February.) The Poetry award was won by Frank Bidart for Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, which our own Nick Ripatrazone previewed in his monthly poetry column for our site: A massive book that covers 50 years of words, Bidart’s collected contains enough routes and themes to produce years of reading. His style—capitalized words, italics, shifting speakers, personae, autobiography—result in a modern mythmaker who channels the old masters. A poet finely attuned to the contours of sensuality, he can simultaneously be spare and weighty.   Bonus Links: Earlier in the year we dove into both the Shortlist and the Longlist to share excerpts and reviews where available.

Colson Whitehead Wins the 2017 Hurston/Wright Literary Fiction Award

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On Friday October 20th the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy awards were held in Washington DC at the Washington Plaza hotel. Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad won for fiction and Kali Nicole Gross won the non fiction award for Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America. The debut fiction award went to Damnificados by J.J. Amaworo Wilson and Donika Kelly's Bestiary won the award for poetry. "The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. " The shortlist and winners are selected by several judges. The Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, received the North Star Award which is given to those with outstanding writing careers and a commitment to helping the writing community.  Rep. John Lewis received the Ella Baker Award which is given to artists and writers who advocate for social justice. Third World press founder Haki Madhubuti won the Madam C.J. Walker Award which honors businesses that have shown exceptional innovation in supporting and sustaining Black literature. For more information you can visit the Hurston/Wright website or follow them on Twitter. There's also a feature on the winners in the Washington Post.