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    Here’s the longlist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

    Rasheeda Saka

    October 26, 2020, 4:12pm

    Today, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the longlist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The prize, established in 2012, honors the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year, and comes with a $5,000 purse. Previous winners include Valeria Luiselli, Adam Higginbotham, Rebecca Makkai, and Kiese Laymon.

    Below, you’ll find the 46 titles (26 fiction, 20 nonfiction), selected by a committee of Booklist editors and contributors, members of RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section’s (CODES) Notable Books Council, and a representative of the American Booksellers Association.

    Billy Kelly, the 2021 selection committee chair, said the following of the longlist:

    This was unquestionably a challenging year for all the obvious reasons. There were times one didn’t feel especially like reading. The news was bleak; the outcomes were dire. And yet, in the end, reading proved to be just the balm one needs to sustain us, to give hope and strength and resilience in the face of an oppressively uncertain future. We know that reading has shown to increase empathy, to reduce stress, and even lower blood pressure. More importantly, however, we discovered that the diversity of voices with which we were able to so deeply engage, the breadth of fascinating subject matter in which we were able to so fully immerse ourselves proved to be the greatest testament to the human spirit. In that sense, 2020 was a great year to be a reader of outstanding books and the Carnegie committee sincerely hopes that others will find the same power we did in the books on this year’s longlist.

    The shortlist for the fiction and nonfiction medals will be announced on November 17, 2020. And the two medal winners will be announced by 2021 selection committee chair Bill Kelly at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) event, which will take place online on February 4, 2021 from 3-4pm CST.

    Congrats to all!


    2021 Longlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction


    Eliot Ackerman, Red Dress in Black and White

    Ayad Akhtar, Homeland Elegies

    Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half

    Marie-Helene Bertino, Parakeet

    Louise Erdrich, The Night Watchman

    Kelli Jo Ford, Crooked Hallelujah

    Yaa Gyasi, Transcendant Kingdom

    Julián Herbert, Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino

    Catherine Lacey, Pew

    Raven Leilani, Luster

    Emily St. John Mandel, The Glass Hotel

    James McBride, Deacon King Kong

    Colum McCann, Apeirogon

    Fernanda Melchor, Hurricane Season

    David Mitchell, Utopia Avenue

    Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet

    Jenny Offill, Weather

    Masatsugu Ono, Echo on the Bay

    Marilynne Robinson, Jack

    Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain

    Graham Swift, Here We Are

    Héctor Tobar, The Last Great Road Bum

    Paul Yoon, Run Me to Earth

    Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown

    Bryan Washington, Memorial


    Rutger Bregman, Humankind: A Hopeful History

    Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The Undocumented Americans

    Barbara Demick, Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town

    Rebecca Giggs, Fathoms: The World in the Whale

    Michele Harper, The Beauty in Breaking

    Miles Harvey, The King of Confidence

    Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings

    Jeffrey H. Jackson, Paper Bullets

    Robert Kolker, Hidden Valley Road

    Laila Lalami, Conditional Citizens

    Alan Mikhail, God’s Shadow

    Wayétu Moore, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women

    Les and Tamara Payne, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

    Claudia Rankine, Just Us: An American Conversation

    Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

    Rebecca Solnit, Recollections of My Nonexistence

    Patrik Svensson, The Book of Eels

    Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive

    Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

    Jia Lynn Yang, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide

    [h/t American Library Association]

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