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Here are the finalists for this year’s $50,000 Kirkus Prize.

Emily Temple

September 17, 2019, 10:21am

Today, Kirkus announced the eighteen finalists for its 2019 Kirkus Prize. One winner in each category (fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature) will be announced in a ceremony on Thursday, October 24 and awarded $50,000.

“We have another stellar lineup of finalists for the Kirkus Prize this year,” said Kirkus Reviews editor-in-chief Tom Beer in a press release. “Our fiction finalists tackle history and current events with timeless style and insight. The nonfiction finalists represent a broad cross-section of the work being done today, from criticism and current-events reportage to history and memoir. Finally, the books for young readers showcase the extraordinary picture books, middle-grade books, and YA books that introduce young people to the issues of our time.”

Full list of finalists below.

FICTION:

Carolina De Robertis, Cantoras (Knopf)
Laila Lalami, The Other Americans (Pantheon)
Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive (Knopf)
Yuko Tsushima, tr. Geraldine Harcourt, Territory of Light (FSG)
Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press)
Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys (Doubleday)

The judges for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Fiction are: bestselling author Min Jin Lee; editor, writer, and critic David L. Ulin; and Michelle Malonzo, buyer and bookseller at Changing Hands Bookstore in Arizona.

NONFICTION:

Hanif Abdurraqib, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (Univ. of Texas)
Naja Marie Aidt, tr. Denise Newman, When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book (Coffee House)
Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster)
Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday)
Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You (Catapult)
Rachel Louise Snyder, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us (Bloomsbury)

The judges for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction are: Kirkus Prize–winning and Pulitzer Prize–winning Jack E. Davis; critic Richard Z. Santos; and bookseller at Miami’s Books & Books, Aaron John Curtis.

YOUNG READERS’ LITERATURE:

Picture Books:

Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, The Undefeated (Versify/HMH)
Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, Imagine (Candlewick)

Middle Grade:

Jerry Craft, New Kid (HarperCollins)
Alicia D. Williams, Genesis Begins Again (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum)

Young Adult:

Angie Thomas, On The Come Up (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)
Juan Pablo Villalobos, tr. Rosalind Harvey, The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border (FSG)

The judges for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature are: award-winning author Mitali Perkins; Kirkus critic Hanna Lee; and Professor of Library Science at North Carolina Central University, Pauletta Brown Bracy.

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