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Current Book Awards & Nominees: 2018 / 2019
    The 2019 Pulitzer Prizes [presented April 15, 2019 - more...]

  • FICTION:

    (Norton)
    WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
    A 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST

    THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers
    Nine remarkable strangers are summoned in different ways for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning homage to the natural world - a world alongside ours, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
    "This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction." — The Washington Post.
    "An extraordinary novel. . . an astonishing performance. I found, while reading, that some of what was happening to his characters passed into my conscience, like alcohol into the bloodstream, and left a feeling behind of grief or guilt, even after I put the book down." — The Guardian (U.K.).
    "A masterpiece of operatic proportions, involving nine central characters and more than half a century of American life. A magnificent achievement: a novel that is, by turns, both optimistic and fatalistic, idealistic without being naive." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
    "A magnificent saga! Powers’ sylvan tour de force is alive with gorgeous descriptions; continually surprising, often heartbreaking characters; complex suspense; unflinching scrutiny of pain; celebration of creativity and connection; and informed and expressive awe over the planet’s life force and its countless and miraculous manifestations." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
    "A monumental novel that accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of story, Powers pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size. . . The descriptions of this deeply animate place stand with any prose I’ve ever read. I hesitate to tell more, and spoil the immense effort Powers invests in getting us into that primal forest to bear witness." — The New York Times.

  • GENERAL NON-FICTION:

    (FSG/Macmillan)
    WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
    AMITY AND PROSPERITY: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold
    When farm animals, pets, and then children begin to sicken and die in a small Appalachian town, single mother Stacey Haney goes up against the corporate forces behind the natural gas fracking boom. Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
    "Griswold painstakingly builds the narrative amid its historical and social context. Griswold’s brilliant choice is to focus tightly on a small group of residents and let the details of their predicament speak for themselves. Thoroughly reported and tightly paced, Amity and Prosperity is an essential document of the region’s latest go-round with the riches underfoot." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
    "Griswold's empathetic yet analytical account of Stacey Haney's indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
    "Her impressive research notwithstanding, Amity and Prosperity is at heart a David and Goliath story fit for the movies. It has everything but a happy ending: a bucolic setting concealing fortune and danger; poor but proud locals; tough, reluctant victim-heroes; grisly scenes of animal die-off; and courtroom drama as a tenacious husband-wife legal team takes on the industry and the state. A valuable, discomforting book." — The New York Times.

  • HISTORY:

    (Simon & Schuster)

    10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
    WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR HISTORY
    A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

    FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Prophet of Freedom David W. Blight
    The most important African American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. Now David W. Blight affords this major American prophet and reformer the distinguished biography he deserves. With the lucid prose and in-depth research that have been a hallmark of his long and distinguished career, the acclaimed historian has drawn on new information few other biographers have been able to access. The result is a portrait that is likely to stand as the definitive account for years to come.
    “A monumental work about a monumental figure. Cinematic and deeply engaging. . . a tour de force of storytelling. Blight isn't looking to overturn our understanding of Douglass, whose courage and achievements were unequivocal, but to complicate it - a measure by which this ambitious and empathetic biography resoundingly succeeds.” - The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
    “David W. Blight brilliantly captures this legendary figure and his times in one of the best biographies of recent years. Blight's portrait of Douglass is engrossing, moving, nuanced, frightening - and certainly thought-provoking.” - Bookpage *** starred review ***.
    “The most comprehensive biography of Douglass ever written. Above all, Blight lets this remarkable voice speak for itself throughout the text. Douglass excelled at telling his own story (he wrote three autobiographies), and Blight does not talk over him. Blight has written a biography that will likely stand as definitive for decades to come.” - The Philadelphia Inquirer.
    “Magisterial. . . David Blight has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass. With extraordinary detail he illuminates the complexities of Douglass's life and career and paints a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the 19th century. The resulting chronicle enriches our understanding of Douglass and the challenges he faced and offers a lesson for our own troubled times.” - The Boston Globe.

  • BIOGRAPHY:

    (Oxford University Press)
    WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY
    WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

    THE NEW NEGRO: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart
    In the early 20th century, a black man emerged from Philadelphia to mentor a generation of young artists including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston that he called the “New Negro” - the African Americans whose art, literature, music, and drama would inspire black people to greatness. Jeffrey C. Stewart offers the definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance, based on primary sources of his life and on interviews with those who knew him personally.
    "Jeffrey C. Stewart’s majestic biography gives Locke the attention his life deserves, but the book is more than a catalog of this philosopher and critic’s achievements. Stewart also renders the tangled knot of art, sexuality and yearning for liberation that propelled Locke’s work. The benefits of this book's thoroughness are manifold. A master class in how to trace the lineage of a biographical subject’s ideas and predilections." — The New York Times.
    "Stewart’s sprawling, magisterial labor of love comes as a reminder that a century ago, when race relations were far worse than they are now, a fiercely independent philosopher of color set down visions of black American freedom beyond economic agendas, nationalist visions, and political protest. This book draws Alain Locke out of the shadows and bestows his legacy to artists of all colors and genders seeking freedom from narrow-minded expectations and fear-mongering hypocrisy." — Book Forum *** starred review ***.
    "A magisterial biography of the prime mover of the Harlem Renaissance. This hefty, deeply researched book brilliantly doubles as a history of the philosophical debates that girded black artistic triumphs early in the 20th century. A sweeping biography that gets deep into not just the man, but the movements he supported, resisted, and inspired." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
    "A vitally important, astonishingly well researched, exhaustive biography of the brilliant, complex, flawed, utterly fascinating man who served as the curator, intellectual champion, and guiding spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. Stewart's account of Locke’s life is detailed, sometimes astoundingly so. More important, he displays a thorough grasp of the intellectual challenges Locke took on." — The Wall Street Journal.

  • POETRY:

    (Norton)
    WINNER OF THE 2019 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY
    BE WITH by Forrest Gander
    Gander has been called one of our most formally restless poets, and these new poems express a characteristically tensile energy and uniquely eclectic diction. His partner of more than thirty years, the poet C. D. Wright, died unexpectedly in her sleep in 2016 and in many ways, this collection of Gander's poetry serves as both an elegy to Wright and an outpouring of Gander's grief.
    "The book’s title gives away its most tragic insight. 'Be with': the phrase is stripped of its object; the beloved has been ripped from the world. Reciprocity is suddenly broken, as though one player in a game had walked off the court mid-volley. A harrowing, sometimes despairing book. . . But even in near-darkness there’s light enough for a new, strange kind of love poem" — The New Yorker.
    "Reading Forrest Gander’s work makes the reader feel as if she’s entering a world larger than her own, one with a broader vocabulary, richer imagery, and a deeper understanding of the relationships between the ordinary and the unknowable. This is a book that opens a deeper way of seeing and being in the world, inviting us to go back to it again and again." — ZYZZYVA: A San Francisco Journal of Arts and Letters..
    "Read together, Gander’s verses have a shattering, symphonic quality, but he uses poetry to locate and dislocate at once, pushing against the borders of meaning or pitching his camp where language estranges itself from sense. Gander’s poems are like rich Möbius strips, entrances and exits at once, tunnels that simultaneously displace us and gather us up, drawing us into a profound human longing. There are dazzling fragments, unraveling syntax, poems that, in their ghostliness, also force us to be alert to our own fragile lives." — The New York Times


The 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction
The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating & honouring women’s fiction. Founded in 1996, the Prize was set up to celebrate originality, accessibility & excellence in writing by women and to connect world-class writers with readers everywhere.
[more...]


The 2019 longlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction
  • The 2019 longlist (best 16 novels of the year) was announced Monday, March 4, 2019.
    • THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS by Pat Barker
    • REMEMBERED by Yvonne Battle-Felton
    • MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    • THE PISCES by Melissa Broder
    • MILKMAN by Anna Burns
    • FRESHWATER by Akwaeke Emezi
    • ORDINARY PEOPLE by Diana Evans
    • SWAN SONG by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
    • AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones
    • NUMBER ONE CHINESE RESTAURANT by Lillian Li
    • BOTTLED GOODS by Sophie van Llewyn
    • LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE by Valeria Luiselli
    • PRAISE SONG FOR THE BUTTERFLIES by Bernice L. McFadden
    • CIRCE by Madeline Miller
    • GHOST WALL by Sarah Moss
    • NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney
  • The 2019 shortlist (best 6 titles) will be announced Monday, April 29, 2019.
  • The winner of the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction will be announced Wednesday, June 5, 2019


The 2018 Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize is the world's most prestigious literary award. The prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best novel of the year written in the English language.
[more...]


  • The 2018 longlist (best 13 titles) was announced Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
    • Belinda Bauer (UK), Snap
    • Anna Burns (UK), Milkman [ WINNER! ]
    • Nick Drnaso (USA), Sabrina
    • Esi Edugyan (Canada), Washington Black (* shortlist)
    • Guy Gunaratne (UK), In Our Mad and Furious City
    • Daisy Johnson (UK), Everything Under (* shortlist)
    • Rachel Kushner (USA), The Mars Room (* shortlist)
    • Sophie Mackintosh (UK), The Water Cure
    • Michael Ondaatje (Canada), Warlight
    • Richard Powers (USA), The Overstory (* shortlist)
    • Robin Robertson (UK), The Long Take (* shortlist)
    • Sally Rooney (Ireland), Normal People
    • Donal Ryan (Ireland), From a Low and Quiet Sea
  • The 2018 shortlist (best 6 titles) was announced Thursday, September 20, 2018 (* shortlist).
  • The winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize (Milkman by Anna Burns) was announced Tuesday, October 16, 2018
The 2018 Man Booker Prize Longlist:

(Atlantic/PGW)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
SNAP by Belinda Bauer
When the family car broke down, eleven-year-old Jack and his two younger sisters had to be left behind on the side of the highway until their mother returned with help. "Jack's in charge," said his mother. "I won't be long." But she never returned. Now Jack's fifteen and is on the verge of finding out who killed his mother. Jack's still in charge - but he's also become a criminal. This twisting, masterfully written novel contains some of the most acutely perceived characters to be found in the thriller genre. It will also keep readers on the edge of their seats from the opening chapter to the last.
"Bauer deftly interweaves a cold-case murder, a teenage master burglar, some ill-assorted coppers and a pregnant wife, knowing exactly when to turn the dial to humor, pathos or something darker. Intelligent entertainment that keeps you guessing." — The Sunday Times (U.K.).
"Vividly unnerving. . . Bauer deftly weaves an intelligent mystery, written with razor-sharp observation and wry humour. Her ability to get under the skins of her characters is second to none." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Surprise, of course, is the most potent aspect of suspense. And Belinda Bauer knows exactly how to manipulate that element, right until the very end with extraordinary dexterity, maturity and feeling. . . Brilliant." — The Daily Mirror (U.K.).
"Amazing! Whilst the story tugged on my heartstrings, I could not have predicted where it would lead, and how deviously Bauer’s mind works, creating spine-chilling situations in the seemingly mundane. Snap is undoubtedly one of the cleverest thrillers I have read in a long time, and stands out from the fray in its original premise, writing style and characters." — But Books Are Better (U.K.).
"Bauer takes astonishing risks but - like a brilliant ski-jumper - arcs down to the perfect landing." — The Independent (U.K.).
"Bauer secures her place as a star in the British psychological-suspense firmament with this tightly written tale. Bauer's characters are richly drawn and her plotting is impeccable. Even the most bizarre circumstances and red herrings make perfect sense." — Booklist *** starred review ***.

(Graywolf/MPS)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER
MILKMAN by Anna Burns
WINNER OF THE 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
In a strife-torn district of Northern Ireland in the 1970s, the narrator, a bookish 18-year-old girl, is relentlessly stalked by the "Milkman", a menacing paramilitary leader. Told in a comically convoluted prose style, this is a nerve-jangling tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. This is a story of inaction with enormous consequences.
"Breathless, intense - even overwhelming at times. Its shrewd observations about sexual harassment and tribalism will speak to the moment. Boldly different from anything else on the Booker shortlist. . . a truthful and complex account of what it’s like for a teenager to experience the heat of an older man’s unwanted attentions. Burns brings alive the disorientating experience of being victim-shamed for being too conspicuous." — The Times (U.K.).
"Burns' writing has been described as 'point-blank poetry', and rightly so. From the outset, Milkman is delivered in a breathless, hectic, glorious torrent. The pace doesn't let up for a single moment. It's an astute, exquisite account of Northern Ireland's social landscape, but Milkman is much more than that, too. It's also a coming-of-age story with flecks of dark humour, yet at other points it's a damning portrait of rape culture. A potent and urgent book, with more than a hint of barely contained fury." — The Irish Independent (U.K.).
"Original and thought-provoking. Burns ingeniously draws comparisons between the hypocrisies and injustices of a sectarian society and the troubled and misunderstood experience of female adolescence. That she successfully tackles her serious mission with razor sharp wit, warm humour and great compassion is even more impressive. This one's a keeper." — Big Issue (U.K.).
"Anna Burns is excellent at evoking the strange ecosystem that emerges during protracted conflict: Distrust of state forces is total: 'The only time you’d call the police in my area would be if you were going to shoot them.' Milkman has its own energy, its own voice. Despite the surreality, everything about this novel rings true. The narrator of Milkman disrupts the status quo not through being political, heroic or violently opposed, but because she is original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique: different. The same can be said of this book." — The Guardian (U.K.).

(Drawn & Quarterly/MPS)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
SABRINA by Nick Drnaso
The first graphic novel ever to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize
A woman named Sabrina vanishes from her Chicago apartment, leaving friends and family haunted by what might have befallen her. Unable to cope, her boyfriend Teddy takes refuge with his childhood friend Calvin - but Calvin finds that by sheltering Teddy he has become the target of vague, hostile conspiracy theories spread by internet cranks and late-night radio hosts. Incisive, chilling, and completely unpredictable, Sabrina demonstrates the inexplicable power of comics at their best.
"A profoundly American nightmare. The fictional killing in Sabrina is disturbing, but Drnaso doesn't fixate on the gore or the culprit; he's more concerned with how the public claims and consumes it, spinning out morbid fantasies with impunity. It's a shattering work of art." — The New York Times.
"What's most curious and, ultimately, valuable about this book is that it is not a crime story; it's a perspicacious and chilling analysis of the nature of trust and truth and the erosion of both in the age of the internet - and especially, in the age of Trump." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Cinematic and deeply timely, this tale is torn from today's darkest headlines of fake news, terrorism, and the ultimately dehumanizing effect of the Internet. Drnaso's artwork reveals depths of emotion that culminate in a reading experience guaranteed to linger. More indictment of modern life than satire, and almost sure to be one of the most discussed graphic novels of the year - if not the next several, this should skyrocket Drnaso to the top tier of comics creators today." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
"A quietly forceful examination of suburban ennui. . . a masterful look at the emotional toll taken by the dehumanizing forces at large in modern society. Drnaso's subtly penetrating work is an incisive depiction of emotionally stunted men who don't need a tragedy to display the symptoms of trauma victims." — Booklist *** starred review ***.

(Knopf/Random)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan
Ranging from the blistering cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, from the earliest aquariums of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, this is a tale of self-invention and self-destruction, of comradeship and betrayal, which asks the question, What is true freedom? A dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world.
"Perfectly executed. . . Soaring. . . More than a tale of human bondage, it's also an enthralling meditation on the weight of freedom, wrapped in a rousing adventure story stretching to the ends of the earth." — The Boston Globe.
"At the core of this novel, with its searing, supple prose and superb characters, is a visceral depiction of the abomination of slavery. Yet, as importantly, it explores an unlikely friendship, the limits to understanding another's suffering, the violence lurking in humans, and the glories of adventure in a world full of wonders." — The Daily Mail (U.K.).
"Terrifically exciting. . . An engrossing hybrid of 19th-century adventure and contemporary subtlety, a rip-roaring tale of peril imbued with our most persistent strife. Discover what the rest of the world already knows: Edugyan is a magical writer." — The Washington Post.
"A daring work of empathy and imagination, featuring a Barbados slave boy in the 1830s who flees barbaric cruelty in a hot-air balloon and embarks on a life of adventure that is wondrous, melancholy, and strange. Astonishing. . . Washington Black's presence in these pages is fierce and unsettling. His urge to live all he can is matched by his eloquence." — The New York Times (Editors' Choice).
"A rare creation. It is a work of unmistakable literary sensibility, written in prose that is fresh and beautiful, yet it retains a storyteller's skill to shock and surprise." — The Daily Telegraph (U.K.).

(Headline/ U.K.)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
IN OUR MAD AND FURIOUS CITY by Guy Gunaratne
A brutal and vibrant tapestry of today's London. Inspired by the real-life murder of a British army soldier by religious fanatics, and the rampant burning of mosques that followed, Guy Gunaratne's debut novel pulses with the frantic energy of the city's homegrown grime music and is animated by the youthful rage of a dispossessed, overlooked, and often misrepresented generation. In a forty-eight-hour surge of extremism and violence, the lives of five unforgettable characters are inexorably drawn together in the lead-up to an explosive, tragic climax.
"Already hailed as a modern masterpiece, this timely and authentic portrayal is as mesmerizing as it is vital." — Heat (U.K.).
"A tinderbox of a novel. A tense read about young men with foreclosed futures, the dread of violence and the sense of alienation they feel, written from the inside. Desire, desperation, fear and the slashed grime music rhythms of Wiley and Skepta run through this tale of a jagged London suburb. Gunaratne writes their world as though he were holding his breath, afraid it might crack open and come apart at any moment." — The Guardian (U.K.).
" Fraught and heartbreaking at the same time, with a biting, in-your-face clarity to it that you can't ignore. It's a searing marvel of a novel." — The Belfast Telegraph.
"The language is virtuosic throughout while remaining largely true to each narrator's first-person voice, replete with their own distinctive slang. . . An impressive feat." — The Times Literary Supplement (U.K.).
"A novel that’s a piece of communal vitality, choral in its urgency, one that squares up to the history of division, makes contemporary disjuncture come alive on the page, doesn’t flinch, and demands change right now." — Ali Smith.
"Guy Gunaratne throws words against the wall and makes us watch them bounce. You feel the heat, reel from the sound, and bump to the unstoppable pulse. A novel so of this moment that you don't even realize you've waited your whole life for it." — Marlon James, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

(Graywolf/MPS)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
EVERYTHING UNDER by Daisy Johnson
While in her teens, Gretel was abandoned by her mother. She's found peace and purpose as a lexicographer updating dictionary entries. But after years of silence, one phone call from her mother is all it takes for the past to come rushing back. In this electrifying reinterpretation of a classical myth, Daisy Johnson explores questions of fate and free will, gender fluidity, and fractured family relationships. A daring, moving story gorgeously written and profoundly unsettling.
"A retelling of Oedipus Rex set in the insular community of the boat people who live along the canals of Oxford. A tense, startling book of true beauty and insight. Proof that the oldest of stories contain within them the seeds of our future selves." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"Blends a deep understanding of character and storytelling sophistication to examine a troubled mother-daughter relationship. A complex uncompromising novel. . . Johnson excels at making psychic phenomena feel visceral. An eerie melodrama which tosses, almost in passing, a grenade into debates over self-determination, luridly staging the supremacy of biological fact." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Johnson's harrowing, singular first novel retells the myth of Oedipus, putting a modern spin on a familiar tale. This story about motherhood and self-determination is a stunning fever dream of a novel." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"This imaginative and innovative use of myth leads to the creation of a new myth. As well as the pleasures of allusion and innovation, there is a spellbinding tension. As the threads move towards a common end, you’re a child who wants to know the magic; all the more if, like a young listener to a fairytale, you sense what’s coming." — The Irish Times (U.K.).
"Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction." - Lauren Groff.

(Scribner)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner
As Romy Hall begins serving two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility in California's Central Valley, she comes to grips with her new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners; and the absurdities of institutional living. Rachel Kushner has written a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.
"In smart, determined, and vigilant Romy, Kushner, an acclaimed writer of exhilarating skills, has created a seductive narrator of tigerish intensity. This is a gorgeously eviscerating novel of incarceration writ large. Rooted in deeply inquisitive thinking and executed with artistry and edgy wit, Kushner's dramatic and disquieting novel investigates with verve and compassion societal strictures and how very difficult it is to understand each other and to be truly free." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Heartbreaking and unforgettable. . . Kushner excels at capturing the minutiae of prison life, and manages to critique the justice system and vividly capture the reality of life behind bars. Her novel is notable for its holistic depiction of who gets wrapped up in incarceration - families, lawyers, police, and prisoners; it deserves to be read with the same level of pathos, love, and humanity with which it clearly was written." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"Much of the action of Rachel Kushner's brilliant new novel is set in California prisons. She has done her research. But the moral scope of The Mars Room is really too large for it to be considered a prison novel. Through its vividly rendered characters, it asks the reader to ponder bigger questions about the system of justice, the possibility of redemption and even the industrialization of the natural landscape. A captivating and beautiful novel." — BookPage *** Top Fiction Pick ***.
"A major novel, a sustained performance, one that broods on several exigent ideas. The Mars Room prowls rather than races. It is like a muscle car oozing down the side roads of your mind. Kushner’s portrait of life inside the women’s prison is grainy and persuasive. It’s all here." — The New York Times.

(Doubleday/Random)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
THE WATER CURE by Sophie Mackintosh
To protect his three daughters from the toxicity and dangers of a degrading world, King has raised his family on an island where men are forbidden any access. But their father, the only man the sisters have ever seen, disappears, and one day two men and a boy wash ashore. Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out. A haunting, riveting tale about the capacity for violence and the potency of female desire, Sophie Mackintosh's debut novel both devastates and astonishes.
"Mackintosh has created a fiction that is distinct and very much her own. The Water Cure is a moving, unsettling study of family trauma, but it also has the feel of a parable, a modern myth about the close relationship between women’s bodies and pain. There is nothing ‘safe’ about Mackintosh’s writing: hers is a debut that probes into the dark meeting places between fantasy and violence, and the disturbing transition from child’s to adult’s play." — The London Magazine (U.K.).
"This riveting debut adds another dimension to a post-Handmaid's Tale world. But Mackintosh’s novel is quite different from The Handmaid’s Tale. . . The Water Cure deploys its twists more subtly. For this is a sisterhood that is theoretically feminist but plays with the slippery boundaries of gender equality in a way that lingers long after the final page." — The Telegraph (U.K.).
"An extraordinary debut novel. Mackintosh is writing the way that Sofia Coppola would shoot the end of the world: everything is luminous, precise, slow to the point of dread." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"Plays out as a sharp allegory of the extremities of male predation, and a potent revenge fantasy. . . This is a tense and haunting debut, as eerily prescient as it is otherworldly. Mackintosh’s sparse lyrical prose carves close to brutality, her blows cut simultaneously blunt and nuanced to disturbing effect." — The Arts Desk *** starred review ***.
"Utopia portrayed in spectral, organic prose. . . Mackintosh is a wonderful stylist; the full scope of her imagination, as well as the cohesion of her vision, is evident on every page. It is the collusion between the ordinary and the extraordinary that gives the book its elemental power: its immediacy as a simple story and its completeness on the heightened metaphorical level. It’s a seriously impressive feat." — The Irish Times (U.K.).

(Knopf/Random)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje
Nathaniel Williams delves into his memory to look back at the year 1945, when he was 14 and "our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals." But nothing is at it seems in this transfixing coming-of-age tale of intrigue and crossed destinies.
"Michael Ondaatje is at the peak of his powers. A work of fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory. Warlight sucked me in deeper than any novel I can remember; when I looked up from it, I was surprised to find the 21st century still going on about me." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"A new masterpiece. . . An elegiac thriller with the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale. In Warlight, all is illuminated, at first dimly then starkly, but always brilliantly. Warlight is a mosaic so cunningly assembled that the finished pattern seems as inevitable as it is harmonious. What must happen does happen in this elegiac thriller; we just can’t see it coming." — The Washington Post.
"Ondaatje casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the past." — The New York Review of Books.
"A haunting, brilliant novel from Ondaatje. . . Mesmerizing from the first sentence, rife with poignant insights and satisfying subplots, this novel about secrets and loss may be Ondaatje's best work yet." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A tender coming of age story so warmly delivered you almost forget how much of its plot involves smuggling, spycraft, and assassins. The novel becomes at once a mystery tale and an exploration into how much of our lives are out of our control, especially in wartime." — The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
"An intricate and absorbing novel. . . This is a book rich with detail. The reader is bound to be conscious of a hidden ballast of research, the seven-eighths of the iceberg without which the thing would founder, but so deft is the writing that you forget this, simply appreciating the meticulous background that brings alive a time and a place." — The New York Times.

(Norton)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers
Nine remarkable strangers are summoned in different ways for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning homage to the natural world - a world alongside ours, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
"This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction." — The Washington Post.
"An extraordinary novel. . . an astonishing performance. I found, while reading, that some of what was happening to his characters passed into my conscience, like alcohol into the bloodstream, and left a feeling behind of grief or guilt, even after I put the book down." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"A masterpiece of operatic proportions, involving nine central characters and more than half a century of American life. A magnificent achievement: a novel that is, by turns, both optimistic and fatalistic, idealistic without being naive." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"A magnificent saga! Powers’ sylvan tour de force is alive with gorgeous descriptions; continually surprising, often heartbreaking characters; complex suspense; unflinching scrutiny of pain; celebration of creativity and connection; and informed and expressive awe over the planet’s life force and its countless and miraculous manifestations." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"A monumental novel that accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of story, Powers pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size. . . The descriptions of this deeply animate place stand with any prose I’ve ever read. I hesitate to tell more, and spoil the immense effort Powers invests in getting us into that primal forest to bear witness." — The New York Times.

(Knopf/Random)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
THE LONG TAKE: A Noir Narrative by Robin Robertson
Brutalized by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it, Walker, a World War II veteran, finds his way from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco during a crucial period of fracture in American history. As Walker tries to piece his life back together, America is beginning to come apart - riven by social and racial divisions, spiraling corruption, and the collapse of the inner cities. Robin Robertson's epic verse pans with filmic immediacy across the postwar urban scene - and into the heart of an unforgettable character - in this highly original work of art.
"When was the last time you said of a book of poetry, 'I couldn’t put it down'? Well, now’s your chance. Moving between poetry and prose, dialogue and history, Robin Robertson’s The Long Take is a propulsive verbal tour de force. Exquisite descriptions. . . An audacious and brilliant book." — The Washington Post.
"A beautiful, vigorous and achingly melancholy hymn to the common man that is as unexpected as it is daring. Here we have a poet, at the peak of his symphonic powers, taking a great risk, and succeeding gloriously. A masterly work of art, exciting, colourful, fast-paced - and almost unbearably moving." — John Banville, The Guardian (U.K.).
"A flashpoint in U.S. history, an almost perfect mirror image of the nation today. . . The Long Take remarkably captures linguistic styles of 1940s American writing - Saroyan and Steinbeck. As it progresses into the mid-50s we're hearing Ginsberg and Baldwin. . . You will be washed in all these when you read this." — The Sunday Herald (U.K.).
"A remarkable work. I can't think of anything quite like it. The phrase ‘a slice of life’ takes on a particularly graphic edge when you’re reading Robertson. . . Modern, complex, political. . . Robertson's language is functional and often exquisite. A poem that's long been waiting to be written." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.

(Hogarth/Random)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney
A strange and indelible connection grows between two very different teenagers - one they are determined to conceal. Connell is the popular star of the football team. Marianne is lonely, proud, and private. But when they both attend the same college, their roles are reversed - Connell retreats into an inward quest for self-discovery, while Marianne revels in a new social world. And then, Marianne begins to spiral downwards towards self-destruction. . . This is a brilliant and psychologically acute examination of how far people may go to save each other - and themselves.
"A future classic. . . Astonishingly fresh. . . The energy and excitement of the story come from the couple themselves, their inner lives, from what Jane Austen called their 'sensibilities'. Rooney evokes them superbly. Rooney is such a gifted, brave, adventurous writer, so exceptionally good at observing the lies people tell themselves on the deepest level, in noting how much we forgive, and above all, in portraying love." — The Guardian (U.K.).
"It is time to take a sharp inhale, people. Sally Rooney’s Normal People is superb. A tremendous read, full of insight and sweetness. . . I felt I understood something, at the end of it, that I had previously pushed away. This novel is about human connection and I found it difficult to disconnect. It is a long time since I cared so much about two characters on a page." — Anne Enright, The Irish Times (U.K.).
"Sally Rooney has rightly been fêted as one of the most important writers of her generation. The question of generation matters because she’s writing about young people. What’s remarkable is how she’s at once fully immersed in the world she writes about and able forensically to observe both the characters and their world, as though from a great distance. It’s this combination that makes her so convincingly the real thing: a unique, fully formed talent." — The Spectator (U.K.).
"There’s an effortlessness about Sally Rooney’s writing, as if the stories simply pour through her like liquid gold. Normal People is a daring book, unafraid to enter the darker corners of the psyche. This hits you deep in the marrow, and the result is quite astonishing. Rooney excels in writing characters who stand askance from life. She writes anguish like nobody can. There’s nothing normal about Rooney. She’s exceptional." — The Independent (U.K.).

(Penguin)

2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE
FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA by Donal Ryan
Farouk, Lampy, and John. . . The lives of these three very different men, each searching for some version of home, something each has lost, move inexorably towards a reckoning that will draw them all together. Donal Ryan delivers three brilliant character developments in a single novel, all three on a trajectory to an astonishing and unforgettable climax.
"Ryan's cunningly structured and deeply compassionate fourth novel is told from the points of view of three men who initially appear to have nothing in common. When Ryan steps back to allow the connections among their stories to emerge, the effect is dazzling, like a series of fireworks building with each detonation." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
"Exquisitely rendered, with raw anguish sublimated into lyrical prose. . . Ryan weaves his three protagonists' deceptively discrete trajectories together, creating a triptych of poignant and at times haunting stories. Undeniably affecting. . . meticulously wrought. . . artfully concluded." — The Washington Post.
"Gorgeous prose, sentences that go on in an often Joycean fashion, association upon association, providing deep insight into each character. This is a book that comes alive even more when it's reread, when the connections are known. Our separate lives, Ryan seems to be saying, are linked in ways we so often don't recognize. . . we're all connected." — Ploughshares.
"The author resists making any connection between the three stories until the final section - a daring decision, as by this time it feels almost impossible that the book will come together. But it does, in a conclusion that is both deft and devastating. Ryan has rightly been praised for his gift for empathy. He is also a writer of beauty and precision. This is a superb novel, from a writer building a body of work the equal of any today. His books are filled with love and righteous anger, most of which lurks darkly beneath the surface ready to explode like an ill-judged comment at a family gathering." — The Guardian (U.K.).


    The 2019 Hugo Award [presented on Sunday, August 18, 2019. - more...]

    NOMINEES FOR THE 2019 HUGO AWARD: Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel:

  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
  • Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
    The 2019 Hugo Award Nominees for Best Novel:

    (Tor/MPS)
    THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal
    2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    Veteran historical fantasist Kowal tackles an alternate history of the space race, in which a catastrophe necessitates an earlier reach for the stars in the 1950s - and the confrontation of gender barriers by aspiring astronaut Elma York. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
    "Kowal's outstanding prequel to her Hugo-winning novelette The Lady Astronaut of Mars shows the alternate history that created a mid-20th-century Mars colony. In a compelling parallel to our own history, Kowal explores a wide range of issues - including religion, grief, survivor's guilt, mental health, racism, misogyny, and globalism - without sermonising or subsuming the characters and plot. Elma's struggles with her own prejudices and relationships, including her relationship with herself, provide a captivating human center to the apocalyptic background. Readers will thrill to the story of this 'lady astronaut' and eagerly anticipate the promised sequels." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "When a program invites women to take the same astronaut training as men, Elma York won't let anything - not family, history, or the attitudes of men regarding the proper place for women - stand in her way. A fast-forward thrill ride, Hugo Award winner Kowal's exciting alternate history, the first in a duology, highlights the space race and the sexism of the time. Readers will be hooked!" - Library Journal.
    "Kowal strikes a fine balance of integrating historical accuracy - including mid-twentieth-century sexism, racism, and technology - with speculative storytelling. Readers will root for Elma as she breaks barriers and calculates lifesaving equations, all while dealing with sometimes-crippling anxiety." - Booklist.

    (Harper Voyager)
    RECORD OF A SPACEBORN FEW by Becky Chambers
    2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
    Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way. But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic - those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life - and is it worth saving at all?
    "Multiple narrators and plot lines converge thematically into an intensely powerful and multifaceted meditation on time, history, change, and memory, leavened with a welcome touch of humor. The characters are distinct and lovable, each shedding light on a different facet of the Fleet. Chambers uses the interconnections inevitable in such a small society to provide moments of both horrific pain and soaring grace, and to make it clear that those things are inextricably intermingled. This is a superb work from one of the genre's rising stars." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Chambers has created a thoughtful, just society, but one populated by flawed characters. Human decisions can lead to terrible consequences, and all Chambers’ characters are complex and fully-realized. Those characters allow us to view aspects of a 'spaceborn' society that are usually erased by space opera’s traditionally masculine focus. Chambers’ thoughtful, measured work offers space opera the depth and complexity it so often lacks. Her work is profound, engaging, and beautifully written." - New York Journal of Books.
    "This series is a rare gem within the sci-fi genre. Chambers' writing pulls you in, making it impossible not to imagine living in her brilliantly crafted universe." - Pomegranate Magazine.

    (Solaris/Simon & Schuster)
    REVENANT GUN by Yoon Ha Lee
    2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
    This third and final novel in the Machineries of Empire trilogy brings Yoon Ha Lee's epic of interstellar warfare, politics, intrigue, and arcane technology to a shattering conclusion. [The preceding volumes are Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem.] Lee combines riveting space opera action with dazzling, imaginative worldbuilding to stunning effect. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
    "Lee concludes his brilliant Machineries of Empire trilogy. Lee's highly imaginative creation is a triumph." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Yoon Ha Lee stuck the landing, and in doing so cemented that the Machineries of Empire series is one of the most ambitious and rewarding science fiction series in print. Lee relentlessly reminds us that war is a self-sustaining state, and that the suffering it produces is its intended product." - Strange Horizons
    "A fast, gripping story. . . Its shifting viewpoints - all seeing some part of the picture, none with a complete view or good insight into other people’s motivations – and potential for betrayals make it feel complex and demanding. At base, though, it’s a thriller crossed with a story about learning to live with consequences you didn’t choose. This is excellent space opera, and I wish there were more like it." - Locus Magazine.
    "What am I going to do with my life now that this series is over? I suppose I’m left with no choice but to read everything else Yoon Ha Lee ever writes. This series is heart-wrenchingly wonderful. I can’t recommend it enough." - The Illustrated Page.

    (Saga/Simon & Schuster)
    SPACE OPERA by Catherynne M. Valente
    2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
    The great galactic civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix - part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Now, for the first time, humans from Earth will compete - and their performance will determine Earth's right to exist.
    "One of the funniest books that I’ve ever read... But the real selling point is Valente’s elaborate prose, dense with description and metaphors. Each of Valente’s sentences could be an entire story, and I found myself engrossed in each one, visualizing her chaotic, bizarre, and delightful universe. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading Space Opera." - The Verge.
    "Although her comedic talents are reminiscent of Douglas Adams at his best, Valente’s palette is far larger. The ability to fluidly tie real-world tragedy together with psychedelic hilarity is perhaps Space Opera’s most impressive attribute. It takes confidence, skill and talent to craft a tragic disco ball metaphor, and Valente has all three in spades." - BookPage *** starred review ***.
    "There are really no words to describe Space Opera. I can say that it's a wicked-fast read (if you can handle the whiplash) and enjoyable at speeds unsafe for upright mammals. In between it's all big ideas written in glitter. It's surprising tenderness on a galactic scale. It's about loneliness and nerdliness and acceptance and making fun of the old, frowsy powers that be. Valente offers up a universe in which the only thing of true value is rhythm." - NPR.

    (Del Rey/Random)
    SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik
    A BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, Time, Vox, Vulture, Paste, Bustle, Library Journal
    2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    Miryem comes from a family of moneylenders, but her compassionate father's inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty - until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, Miryem sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when her talents come to the attention of a fairy-King, she finds the fate of her world may depend on her. Naomi Novik, the acclaimed author of Uprooted, draws readers deep into a glittering realm of fantasy, wonder and terror.
    "This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel, grounded in Germanic, Russian, and Jewish folklore but richly overlaid with a cohesive, creative story of its own, rises well above a mere modern re-imagining of classic tales. Novik probes the edges between the everyday and the extraordinary, balancing moods of wonder and of inevitability. Her work inspires deep musings about love, wealth, and commitment, and embodies the best of the timeless fairy-tale aesthetic. Readers will be sad to walk away from its deeply immersive setting. This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "A perfect tale. . . This book is about the determination and quiet competence of women doing remarkable things without knowing first that they can do them. A big and meaty novel, rich in both ideas and people, with the vastness of Tolkien and the empathy and joy in daily life of Le Guin." — The New York Times.
    "In spare prose of great clarity Novik weaves in and out of multiple first-person narratives exploring human and alien social structures and ethnic prejudices, fathers and daughters, damaged relationships and hidden agendas, wringing unexpected consequences from seemingly simple choices. A medieval fable blossoms into a thoughtful, emotionally complex, absorbing drama that stands confidently on its own merits." — Kirkus Reviews.
    "Novik addresses weighty questions of power, choice, prejudice, beauty, and identity with aplomb. Echoes of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale as well as Greek and Slavic myths are transformed through Novik's skill. VERDICT: This masterly, immersive high fantasy tale is grounded in real-world challenges and opportunities for growth. Highly recommended." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.

    (Gallery/Simon & Schuster)
    TRAIL OF LIGHTNING by Rebecca Roanhorse
    2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2019 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. Rebecca Roanhorse is an exciting new voice in speculative fiction, and her skilful weaving of Navajo mythology into her debut novel makes for a truly fascinating and unique read.
    "It takes a special talent to devise an apocalypse that feels original. Rebecca Roanhorse meets the challenge head-on. Smartly paced, with character development and action sequences expertly interspersed. The beginning of a longer saga, Trail of Lightning is a highly satisfying reading experience all on its own. Roanhorse possesses a sure hand and a singular vision, and she establishes her credentials as a novelist with this ambitious, exciting and well-executed first book." - The San Francisco Chronicle.
    "Vividly depicts Navajo land, legends, and culture in a marvelous fantasy debut. . . Roanhorse unspools a fascinating narrative of colorful magic in a world made otherwise bleak by both natural and man-made circumstances. The monster-hunting plot nearly takes a back seat to Maggie's challenging journey of working through personal and cultural trauma. A fresh take on the tale of the emotionally and spiritually wounded hero who faces down increasing evil to make the world better. This rich tale from a strong Native American voice is recommended for all fantasy audiences." - Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Roanhorse's sharp prose vividly builds a reborn Navajo universe filled with magic and flawed protagonists who are striving to live beyond their presumed destinies. VERDICT: This exciting postapocalyptic debut, with its heady combination of smartly drawn characters, Wild West feel, and twisty plot, is a must-read." - Library Journal *** starred review ***.
    "Delightful. . . I loved the worldbuilding. After decades of reading genre futures in which black and brown people don’t exist, it’s deeply satisfying to find fiction in which histories of genocide actually equip them to survive disasters." - The New York Times.

    The 2018 National Book Award
    The National Book Award for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature
    is presented by the National Book Foundation in partnership with The New Yorker.
    The longlist of 10 nominees in each category was announced on Friday, September 14, 2018
    The shortlist of 5 finalists in each category was announced on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 (* finalist)
    The awards were presented to the winners on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

    [more...]

  • 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NOMINEES FOR FICTION:
    Jamel Brinkley, A Lucky Man (Graywolf Press / Macmillan) (* finalist)
    Jennifer Clement, Gun Love (Hogarth / Penguin Random House)
    Lauren Groff, Florida (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House) (* finalist)
    Daniel Gumbiner, The Boatbuilder (McSweeney’s / PGW)
    Brandon Hobson, Where the Dead Sit Talking (Soho Press / Penguin Random House) (* finalist)
    Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (Algonquin Books / Workman Publishing)
    Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers (Viking Books / Penguin Random House) (* finalist)
    Sigrid Nunez, The Friend (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House) (* finalist) *** WINNER ***
    Tommy Orange, There There (Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House)
    Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Heads of the Colored People (Atria Books / 37 INK / Simon & Schuster)

  • 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NOMINEES FOR NONFICTION:
    Carol Anderson, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (Bloomsbury / Macmillan)
    Colin G. Calloway, The Indian World of George Washington (Oxford University Press) (* finalist)
    Steve Coll, Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Penguin Press / Penguin Random House)
    Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple, Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War (One World / Penguin Random House)
    Victoria Johnson, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic (Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company) (* finalist)
    David Quammen, The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life (Simon & Schuster)
    Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (Scribner / Simon & Schuster) (* finalist)
    Rebecca Solnit, Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) (Haymarket Books)
    Jeffrey C. Stewart, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke (Oxford University Press) (* finalist) *** WINNER ***
    Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company) (* finalist)

  • 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NOMINEES FOR POETRY:
    Rae Armantrout, Wobble (Wesleyan University Press) (* finalist)
    Jos Charles, feeld (Milkweed Editions)
    Forrest Gander, Be With (New Directions)
    Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House) (* finalist)
    J. Michael Martinez, Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House)
    Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of (Omnidawn Publishing) (* finalist)
    Justin Phillip Reed, Indecency (Coffee House Press) (* finalist) *** WINNER ***
    Raquel Salas Rivera, lo terciario / the tertiary (Timeless, Infinite Light)
    Natasha Trethewey, Monument: Poems New and Selected (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
    Jenny Xie, Eye Level (Graywolf Press / Macmillan) (* finalist)

  • 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NOMINEES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE:
    Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers) (* finalist) *** WINNER ***
    M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin, The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge (Candlewick Press) (* finalist)
    Bryan Bliss, We’ll Fly Away (Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Publishers)
    Leslie Connor, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle (Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers) (* finalist)
    Christopher Paul Curtis, The Journey of Little Charlie (Scholastic Press / Scholastic, Inc.) (* finalist)
    Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo (Graphix / Scholastic, Inc.) (* finalist)
    Tahereh Mafi, A Very Large Expanse of Sea (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers)
    Joy McCullough, Blood Water Paint (Dutton Children’s Books / Penguin Random House)
    Elizabeth Partridge, Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam (Viking Children’s Books / Penguin Random House)
    Vesper Stamper, What the Night Sings (Knopf Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House)



    The 2018 Man Booker International Prize
    Awarded annually for a single work of fiction that has been translated into English. Underlining the importance of translation, the £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator.
  • The longlist was announced on March 12, 2018
  • The shortlist was announced on April 12, 2018.
  • The winner was announced on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. [more...]

    THE 2018 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE SHORTLIST:

    • Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes (France) / translated by Frank Wynne
    • The White Book by Han Kang (South Korea) / translated by Deborah Smith
    • The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai (Hungary) / translated by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes
    • Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain) / translated by Camilo A. Ramirez
    • Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq) / translated by Jonathan Wright
    • Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland) / translated by Jennifer Croft *** WINNER ***
  • Winner of the 2018 Man Booker International Prize [presented Saturday, May 19, 2018 - more...]

    (Riverhead/Penguin)
    FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk | Translated by Jennifer Croft
    WINNER OF THE 2018 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
    A seventeenth-century Dutch anatomist discovers the Achilles tendon by dissecting his own amputated leg. Chopin's heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and interwoven stories, one of Europe's finest authors explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion - not only through space but through time. Enchanting, unsettling, and wholly original.
    "Fascinating. . . a novel of intuitions as much as ideas. Moves from wit and gleeful mischief to real emotional texture. . . Tokarczuk inhabits a rebellious, playful register very much her own. Flights is a passionate and enchantingly discursive plea for meaningful connectedness. I can think of no better travel companion in these turbulent, fanatical times." — The Guardian (U.K.).
    "Tokarczuk's peerless travel guide is actually a guide to living. This is as brilliant and life-affirming as literature gets. After reading this book, you'll likely never see the world the same again." — The Saturday Review.
    "This astonishing performance is Tokarczuk's glittering, bravura entry in the literature of ideas. A select few novels possess the wonder of music, and this is one of them. An international, mercurial, and always generous book, to be endlessly revisited." — The Los Angeles Review of Books.
    "Fearless... Flights is thrillingly transnational. Ms Tokarzcuk is unquestionably the highest-profile novelist of her generation in Poland. She knows how to weave poetic magic in radiantly readable prose." — The Economist (U.K.).


    The 2017 Nebula Award [presented Saturday, May 19, 2018 - more...]

    NOMINEES FOR THE 2017 NEBULA AWARD: Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel:

  • Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee
  • Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
  • Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
  • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin *** WINNER ***
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
  • The 2017 Nebula Award Winner for Best Novel [presented Saturday, May 19, 2018 - more...]

    (Orbit/Hachette)
    THE STONE SKY by N. K. Jemisin
    2017 NEBULA AWARD WINNER | 2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST
    The earthshaking conclusion to Jemisin's powerful postapocalyptic Broken Earth trilogy (after The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate) finds the fate of a damaged world in the hands of a mother, who wants to save it, and her daughter, who wants to destroy it.
    "Unforgettable! Vivid characters, a tautly constructed plot, and outstanding worldbuilding meld into an impressive and timely story of abused, grieving survivors fighting to fix themselves and save the remnants of their shattered home." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Jemisin continues to break the heart with her sensitive, cleareyed depictions of a beyond-dysfunctional family and the extraordinarily destructive force that is prejudice. She wrestles with moral issues at an extreme level. Jemisin deliberately refuses to provide easy answers: they're simply not available, in this world or ours. Painful and powerful." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
    "Jemisin not only delivers but does it in a way that makes you appreciate how rarely series fiction manages to satisfy so well when it comes time for the final curtain. The Stone Sky manages to stick a very tricky and almost perfect landing, resolving the trilogy’s key conflicts, clarifying most of its mysteries, and outperforming on a level of sheer emotional and visceral punch. This is the work of a writer in complete command of her craft." — SFF180.
    "Jemisin is a master worldbuilder, and in the Broken Earth trilogy, she’s crafted something truly spectacular. A truly immersive reading experience. . . The Stone Sky is a heart-stopping conclusion to the trilogy." — Girls in Capes.
    The 2017 Nebula Finalist Nominees for Best Novel

    (TOR/MPS)
    AMBERLOUGH by Lana Elena Donnelly
    2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST

    In freewheeling and decadent Amberlough, spies, criminals, cabaret bohemians, and lovers struggle to save what matters to each of them from a tide of rising fascism and violence. Donnelly's debut - set in a richly imagined city evocative of Weimar-era Berlin - is an audacious blend of espionage, romance, and tragedy.
    "Amberlough has an amazing voice. Its spy-thriller twists and ever-growing tension combine to provide an extraordinarily entertaining ride. And I have to say: if this is her debut? I can’t wait to see what Donnelly does next." — Locus.
    "Donnelly's striking debut brings a complex world of politics, espionage, and cabaret life to full vision. The emotional journeys of the characters as they struggle to survive in a society under siege by dark forces will strike a chord with readers as they race to the story's conclusion." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
    "Donnelly's masterly creation is richly imagined and moves at an unchecked pace, painting a layer of sumptuous indulgence over a society of corruption, vice, and oppression. the characters are drawn inexorably to their limits in a conclusion that is as heartbreaking as it is satisfying." — Publisher's Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "A sense of inevitable loss and futility permeates this rich drama. The fascists may never be defeated but only escaped - if the characters are willing to abandon the people they love. That dilemma will haunt them, as it haunts the reader." — Kirkus Reviews.

    (Tor/MPS)
    AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz
    2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    Jack Chen is a drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap cures for poor people who can't otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane. Now she must rectify the damage by finding a cure and exposing the corrupt manufacturer who first developed the drug. Annalee Newitz explores issues of free will, social accountability, and scientific responsibility in a dazzling futuristic thriller.
    "In a phenomenal debut that's sure to garner significant awards attention, Newitz sends three fascinating characters on an action-packed race against time through a strange yet familiar futuristic landscape. A skillful inspection of attraction and identity in a fragmented, frenetic society." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Newitz takes some of today's key social and technical issues (the nature of artificial intelligence, the notion of property and ownership) and wraps them in a compelling, original story line acted out by memorable characters. VERDICT: Lovers of original, thought-provoking SF should not miss this one." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
    "Fascinating. . . Newitz is an excellent writer, with an effortless style. A terrific book that covers an astounding amount of ground. You will be the smarter for it." — The San Francisco Chronicle.
    "From startling insights, to delicately turned prose, to whole passages of unbearably tender musings on the intimate desires of artificial intelligence, there's much more than I can feasibly talk about here. Breathtaking descriptions. . . tremendously compelling character arcs. . . Autonomous brims and bubbles over with ideas. It's a brilliant, fascinating debut, beautifully written and developed, and I'm excited to see what conversations it provokes." — NPR Book Reviews.

    (Orbit/Hachette)
    JADE CITY by Fonda Lee
    2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST | Best Book of the Year: Locus Magazine, The Verge, and NPR
    The island of Kekon is protected from foreign invasion by the magical jade mined there. But now the honor-driven Kaul family seizes control of the market, even as a new drug lets anyone use the fierce power of the jade. The first in a trilogy inspired by Asian warring clans history, this is an absolutely enthralling saga of intrigue, ambition, and magic.
    "Lee draws on her Chinese heritage, passion for gangster stories, and strong writing to launch a Godfather-inspired fantasy series that mixes bold martial-arts action and vivid worldbuilding. The result is terrific." — Library Journal PICK-OF-THE-MONTH *** starred review ***.
    "Lee has created a fully realized universe in which to expand, with a solid magic system and boatloads of history and gravitas. Jade City flows with a sense of purpose, visceral brutality and dizzying spectacle." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
    "An intrigue-packed adventure set in an Asia-inspired, alternate-world modern city. As this ambitious and complex story unfolds, Lee skillfully juggles a huge cast. An engaging blend of crime drama and Asian martial arts tropes in a strongly envisioned world. . . an intense, satisfying experience." — Publishers Weekly.
    "An absolutely blistering read. The characters are perfectly three-dimensional. The plot is thrilling and the action sequences are damn near perfect. I cannot recommend Jade City highly enough." — The Eloquent Page.
    "Stunning. . . Brilliant. . . Exceptionally deep and fully realized characters. . . There is a complexity surrounding this book’s ensemble that is rarely seen in the first book of a series. The character progression is also exquisite. An epic, unique, and often unforgiving gangster fantasy narrative intertwined with glimpses of hope and goodness." — Fantasy Book Review.
    "An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." — NPR Book Reviews.

    (Orbit/Hachette)
    SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty
    2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST | 2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    The ship Dormire carries 2,000 colonists and a crew of six clones with criminal pasts who are hoping to build new lives with clean slates. But nearly 25 years into the mission, the ship's crew awaken from their cryogenic sleep in the middle of a bloody crime scene. A masterful mix of locked-room mystery detection and hard science-fiction that will enthrall fans of either genre.
    "Interleaving urgent scenes with telling flashbacks, Lafferty delivers a tense nail-biter of a story fueled by memorable characters and thoughtful worldbuilding. This space-based locked-room murder mystery explores complex technological and moral issues in a way that's certain to earn it a spot on award ballots." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Six survivors must figure out who killed their previous bodies and why. Lafferty delivers the ultimate locked-room mystery combined with top-notch sci-fi worldbuilding. The puzzle of who is responsible for the devastation on the ship keeps the pages turning." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.
    "A taut, nerve-tingling, interstellar murder mystery with a deeply human heart." — NPR Book Reviews.
    "A perfect blend of science fiction and mystery, complete with Clue-like red herrings and thought-provoking philosophizing about the slippery slope of cloning technology. Lafferty jumps back and forth in time, developing each character and building a world in which human cloning is completely believable. Highly recommended." — Booklist.

    (Knopf/Random)
    SPOONBENDERS by Daryl Gregory
    2017 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    Tricking his way into a classified government study, Teddy Telemachus meets and falls in love with Maureen, a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. They marry, raise three gifted children, and as The Amazing Telemachus Family, perform astounding feats across the country. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered. Master storyteller Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.
    "A nimble and substantial novel with a cast of odd, damaged, enormously likable characters in a complex story that gracefully balances melodrama with the ordinary mysteries of family dynamics. Each of the characters has a precise energy and depth that makes him or her irresistible. The chapters shift between their points of view, revealing different threads of the story with masterful control. A skillfully written family drama that employs quirk and magic with grace." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
    "Daryl Gregory has created a captivating cast. These are eccentric people with eccentric lives, but the level of emotional detail at work is astounding, and Gregory's magic touch makes even their strangest moments relatable. An intensely endearing read. . . The premise will hook you, the plot will entice you, and then the Telemachuses themselves will make you fall in love." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
    "What Daryl Gregory accomplishes in his seventh novel is both magic and magic trick. Gregory writes with humor and charm, offering up a rollicking and quick-paced plot tailor-made for summer." — The New York Times.
    "Superbly engaging, balancing delightful wackiness with genuine tenderness throughout. Deeply moving, faceted, complex and affecting." — NPR Book Reviews.

    (Saga/Simon & Schuster)
    THE STRANGE CASE OF THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER by Theodora Goss
    2018 NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
    A remarkable group of women come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders - and the bigger mystery of their own origins. When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. An utterly delightful gothic gem of a novel!
    "A standout pastiche of late Victorian mystery fiction, set in an alternate 1880s London and featuring Sherlock Holmes and a quintet of remarkable women. This is a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
    "Theodora Goss has assembled a deceptively intricate mosaic of friendship, family, history, science, and the way literature - not to mention truth - can be manipulated. As each of the characters' haunting pasts comes to light, the book's balance between academic playfulness and poignant storytelling becomes more exquisite. A swiftly paced, immaculately plotted mystery full of winning characters you always thought you knew. Overhauls, and pokes gentle fun at the era's weird-fiction tradition. But it's also a sparkling, insightful conversation with the canon from which it sprang." — NPR Book Reviews.
    "Goss upends fantasy tropes to bring to life characters who would have been ignored in the period works that inspired them, and the result is a fantastic, gripping read that feels true to the spirit of the original works, but updated with a modern spin for the 21st century reader." — The Verge.


    The 2018 Edgar Award [presented April 26, 2018 - more...]

    2018 EDGAR AWARD NOMINEES: Best Mystery Novel:

  • The Dime by Kathleen Kent
  • Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr
  • Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke *** WINNER ***
  • A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
    The 2018 Edgar Award Winners:

  • 2018 BEST MYSTERY / SUSPENSE NOVEL: BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke

    (Mulholland/Hachette)
    WINNER OF THE 2018 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
    BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke
    A New York Times Book Review EDITORS' CHOICE.
    A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Financial Times (U.K.), Vulture, The Strand Magazine, Southern Living, Publisher's Weekly, Book Riot, The Guardian (U.K.), Lit Hub, The Boston Globe, Dallas News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, National Public Radio, Texas Monthly, The Daily Beast, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel

    When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules - a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. Attica Locke delivers a propulsive novel concerning past deeds, injustice and courage. A riveting masterpiece of Southern noir - and much more: it's also a powerful and dramatic look at contemporary black life in rural America.
    "An emotionally dense and intricately detailed thriller, roiling with conflicting emotions steeped in this nation's troubled past and present. A rich sense of place and relentless feeling of dread permeate Attica Locke's heartbreakingly resonant new novel about race and justice in America. Bluebird, Bluebird is no simple morality tale. Far from it. It rises above 'left and right' and 'black and white' and follows the threads that inevitably bind us together, even as we rip them apart." — USA Today.
    "Stupendous. . . Pushing her classic noir plot deep into history and culture, Attica Locke sings her own unshakable, timeless lament. Streaked with wit and hard-earned wisdom, Bluebird, Bluebird soars." — The Chicago Tribune.
    "Locke's mesmerizing new novel bears all the hallmarks of modern crime fiction: the alcoholic protagonist with the damaged marriage; the townsfolk who close rank against outsiders; the small-town law enforcement agent with murky loyalties. But Bluebird, Bluebird is a true original in the way it twists these conventions into a narrative of exhilarating immediacy. Locke is building a compelling body of work. In this age of enduring and renewed racial tensions, we need her voice more than ever." — The Guardian (U.K.).
    "Gripping, suspenseful and gut-wrenching. . . I've never bought the notion of the Great American Novel, but if Attica Locke's Bluebird Bluebird isn't on literary historians' lists, I'm coming back to haunt them. This is a layered portrait of a black man confronting his own racial ambivalence and ambition told with a pointed and poignant bluesy lyricism. . . Locke's novel is America 'telling on itself.' Listen up." — The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

  • 2018 BEST FIRST NOVEL: SHE RIDES SHOTGUN by Jordan Harper

    (Ecco/Harper)
    WINNER OF THE 2018 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
    SHE RIDES SHOTGUN by Jordan Harper
    Polly McClusky is eleven years old when she is unexpectedly reunited with her ex-convict father and is flung into a world of robbery, violence, and the constant threat of death. Confident, brutal, but always human, Jordan Harper's debut novel is a darkly irresistible parable of family and sacrifice. With an intelligence and fervor all her own, Polly McClusky is an unforgettable character.
    "From its bravura prologue to its immensely satisfying ending, this first novel comes out with guns blazing and shoots the chambers dry. It's both a dark, original take on the chase novel and a strangely touching portrait of a father-daughter relationship framed in barbed wire." — Booklist *** starred review ***.
    "The characters' loyalty, love, and struggle for redemption grip the reader and don't let go." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
    "A True Grit sort of saga, but on hot-wired horsepower instead of horseback. With Harper's storytelling chops, it's a rolling hell-bent adventure with all the snappy dialogue and action of the best noir fiction." — Shelf Awareness *** starred review ***.
    "Buckle up for a winning debut! A visceral noir that will at turns shock, delight and completely subvert readers’ expectations. An emotionally resonant road story that puts the pedal to the medal." — BookPage *** starred review ***.
    "Fascinating, tightly written. Readers will find this book hard - hard to put down." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  • 2018 BEST FACT CRIME: KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

    (Vintage/Random)
    WINNER OF THE 2018 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FACT CRIME
    KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
    A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR, Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, The Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub, and Slate.
    In the 1920s, members of the oil-rich Native American tribe, the Osage Nation, began to be murdered one by one. Those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and together with the Osage began to expose a chilling conspiracy. Based on years of research and new evidence, David Gann (author of The Lost City of Z) delivers a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.
    "A master of the detective form. . . Killers of the Flower Moon is something deep and not easily forgotten." — The Wall Street Jpournal.
    "A masterful work of literary journalism crafted with the urgency of a mystery. . . Mesmerizing storytelling." — The Boston Globe.
    "Masterful! A story of murder, betrayal, heroism and a nation's struggle to leave its frontier culture behind and enter the modern world. Filled with almost mythic characters from our past, it's a haunting tale of unimaginable betrayal, naked greed and the birth of modern law enforcement." — Rolling Stone.
    "Close to impeccable. It's confident, fluid in its dynamics, light on its feet. The crime story it tells is appalling, and stocked with authentic heroes and villains. It will make you cringe at man's inhumanity to man. Grann has proved himself a master of spinning delicious, many-layered mysteries that also happen to be true. It will sear your soul." — The New York Times.


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