Kirkus Reviews has announced the winners of its inaugural Kirkus Prize. Established this year to celebrate the eighty-first anniversary of Kirkus Reviews, the $50,000 prizes will be given annually for a book of fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature published in the previous year.
Lily King won the fiction prize for her novel Euphoria (Atlantic Monthly Press). The finalists were Siri Hustvedt for The Blazing World (Simon & Schuster); Dinaw Mengestu for All Our Names (Knopf); Brian Morton for Florence Gordon (Houghton Mifflin); Bill Roorbach for The Remedy of Love (Algonquin Books); and Sarah Waters for The Paying Guests (Riverhead). Kate Christensen, Stephanie Valdez, and Marion Winik judged.
Roz Chast won the nonfiction prize for her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury). The finalists were Leo Damrosch for Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press); Elizabeth Kolbert for The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Holt); Armand Marie Leroi for The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science (Viking); Thomas Piketty for Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press); and Bryan Stevenson for Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau). Sarah Bagby, Sloane Crosley, and Gregory McNamee judged.
Kate Samworth won the young readers’ literature prize for her picture book Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual (Clarion). Claudette S. McLinn, Linda Sue Park, and John Edward Peters judged.
The 2015 Kirkus Prize will be awarded to books published between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, and given a Kirkus Star review. For a traditional Kirkus review, authors, agents, or publishers may submit two copies of a book at least four to five months before its publication date. Self-published authors may order a Kirkus Indie review for $425 (for a review in seven to nine weeks) or $575 (for a review in four to six weeks). The editors of Kirkus Reviews estimate their reviewers cover eight to ten thousand books every year and give 10 percent of those books a Kirkus Star. Founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus, Kirkus Reviews is published twice monthly.
Upper Left: Lily King, photo by Winky Lewis. Upper Right: Roz Chast, photo by Bill Franzen.