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The L.A. Times announces its 2019 Book Prize finalists and a new award for science fiction.

Katie Yee

February 19, 2020, 12:41pm

It’s an exciting year for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes! This will be its 40th year of celebrating the literary community. The Times announced their 2019 Book Prize finalists today; the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on April 17th.

Additionally, bestselling crime novelist Walter Mosley (best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries and author of the forthcoming Trouble Is What I Do) will be honored with the 2019 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. Emily Bernard (author of the essay collection Black Is the Body)will be awarded the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose. This year’s Innovator’s Award will go to WriteGirl, a vital mentorship program that matches working professionals with teenage girls to encourage empowerment through writing. This is also the inaugural year for the Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction, which will honor Ray Bradbury’s legacy by championing groundbreaking writers in his field today. (Woohoo!)

Congratulations to all the finalists:


Maria Gainza, Optic Nerve

Lila Savage, Say Say Say

Lila Savage, Say Say Say

Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift
(Hogarth Press)

Marilou Is Everywhere

Sarah Elaine Smith, Marilou Is Everywhere

De'Shawn Charles Winslow, In West Mills (June 4)

De’Shawn Charles Winslow, In West Mills




Tash Aw, We, the Survivors

stay and fight ffitch

Madeline Ffitch, Stay and Fight

Ben Lerner, The Topeka School

Ben Lerner, The Topeka School

Maaze Mengiste, The Shadow King

Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King
(W. W. Norton)

Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys



Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay

Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay
(Ecco Press)

Michael Connelly, The Night Fire
(Little, Brown and Company)

The Lost Man_Jane Harper

Jane Harper, The Lost Man

Laura Lippman, Lady in the Lake

Laura Lippman, Lady In the Lake
(William Morrow)

Attica Locke, Heaven My Home

Attica Locke, Heaven, My Home
(Mulholland Books)



The Club_Leo Damrosch

Leo Damrosch, The Club
(Yale University Press)

Our Man_George Packer

George Packer, Our Man

Fay Wray and Robert Riskin_Victoria Riskin

Victoria Riskin, Fay Wray and Robert Riskin

Yuval Taylor, Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal, W. W. Norton; design by Steve Attardo, art by Juan Fuentes (March 26, 2019)

Yuval Taylor, Zora and Langston
(W. W. Norton)

Sandra Day O'Connor

Evan Thomas, First: Sandra Day O’Connor
(Random House)



The Dreamt Land_Mark Arax

Mark Arax, The Dreamt Land

Charged_Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon, Charged
(Random House)

Catch and Kill_Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill
(Little, Brown and Company)

Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee

Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee

No Visible Bruises

Rachel Louise Snyder, No Visible Bruises



Reginald Dwayne Betts, Felon
(W. W. Norton)

Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic

Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic
(Graywolf Press)

Sally Wen Mao, Oculus
(Graywolf Press)

Mary Ruefle, Dunce

Mary Ruefle, Dunce
(Wave Books)

Carmen Giménez Smith, Be Recorder

Carmen Gimenez Smith, Be Recorder
(Graywolf Press)



Bottle of Lies_Katherine Eban

Katherine Eban, Bottle of Lies
(Ecco Press)

Midnight in Chernobyl_Adam Higginbotham

Adam Higginbotham, Midnight in Chernobyl
(Simon & Schuster)

Invisible Women_Caroline Criado Perez

Caroline Criado Perez, Invisible Women
(Harry N. Abrams)

Figuring_Maria Popova

Maria Popova, Figuring

Superior_Angela Saini

Angela Saini, Superior: The Return of Race Science
(Beacon Press)



exhalation_ted chiang

Ted Chiang, Exhalation

This Is How You Lose the Time War_Max Gladstone

Max Gladstone, This Is How You Lose the Time War
(Gallery/Saga Press)

Brian Evenson, Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House)

Brian Evenson, Song for the Unraveling of the World
(Coffee House Press)

marlon james, black leopard red wolf

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift
(Hogarth Press)

[via Los Angeles Times]

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