The 2015 Pulitzer Prizes, which are some of the most esteemed awards in literature and journalism, have been announced, along with the finalists in each category. The winner of the Fiction Pulitzer Prize also happens to be the BookPage Reader's Choice Top Pick of 2014! Looks like BookPage readers have great taste—No surprise there.
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Winner: Encounters at the Heart of the World by Elizabeth A. Fenn
Empire of Cotton by Sven Beckert
An Empire on the Edge by Nick Bunker
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Winner: The Pope and Mussolini by David I. Kertzer
Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism by Thomas Brothers
Stalin: Volume I by Stephen Kotkin
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Winner: Digest by Gregory Pardlo
Reel to Reel by Alan Shapiro
Compass Rose by Arthur Sze
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No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal
Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos
What do you think of the Pulitzer Prize Board's choices?
Congratulations to the authors on the 2015 PEN Literary Awards Shortlist! The PEN Award—and the $25,000 that comes with it—is given to the debut author deemed to be the most promising of the year by a panel of judges. The winner will be chosen from the shortlist, which was announced today.
Congratulations to all of the authors nominated for the prestigious RITA awards, which recognize the best romance novels published in the past year. We've covered many of the books and authors in the running and wish them the best of luck. Check out the full list of nominees on Romance Writers of America's website!
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan (Bell Harbor)
It’s in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis
Love with a Perfect Cowboy by Lori Wilde
One in a Million by Jill Shalvis (Congrats on the double nod!)
Douglas: Lord of Heartache and Worth: Lord of Reckoning by Grace Burrowes
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie
The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter
Last week, the National Book Critics Circle honored six authors for their excellent books published in 2014. The committee of book critics voted on the best books of the last year, and these are the results:
Fiction: Lila by Marilynne Robinson
General Nonfiction: The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis
Autobiography: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Biography: Tennessee Williams by John Lahr
Criticism: The Essential Ellen Willis by Ellen Willis
Poetry: Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Additionally, the John Leonard Prize for excellence in first books was received by Phil Klay for his debut, Redeployment, and Toni Morrison was honored with the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant contribution to the literary world. And, because this is a critics' award after all, Alexandra Schwartz won the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
The longlist for this year's Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction has been announced. The prize (formerly known as the Orange Prize) recognizes one outstanding female author who writes in English and has been published in the U.K., and comes with a prize of £30,000. The shortlist will be announced on April 13, and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony held at the Royal Festival Hall on June 3.
Eleven of the 20 longlisted authors have made the long or shortlist for the prize before—and a record-setting 16 of them are British. A few have yet to be published in the U.S. Who are you rooting for?
Rachel Cusk, Outline (FSG)
Lissa Evans, Crooked Heart (Harper, July)
Patricia Ferguson, Aren’t We Sisters? (no scheduled U.S. publication)
Xiaolu Guo, I Am China (Nan A. Talese)
Samantha Harvey, Dear Thief (Atavist Books)
Emma Healey, Elizabeth Is Missing (Harper)
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (Knopf)
Grace McCleen, The Offering (no scheduled U.S. publication)
Sandra Newman, The Country of Ice Cream Star (Ecco)
Heather O’Neill, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night (FSG)
Laline Paull, The Bees (Ecco)
Marie Phillips, The Table of Less Valued Knights (no scheduled U.S. publication)
Rachel Seiffert, The Walk Home (Pantheon)
Kamila Shamsie, A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury)
Ali Smith, How to be Both (FSG)
Sara Taylor, The Shore (Crown, June)
Anne Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread (Knopf)
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests (Riverhead)
Jemma Wayne, After Before (Legend Times Group, April)
PP Wong, The Life of a Banana (Legend Times Group, May)
It's one of my favorite—and most fascinating—times of year: The days and weeks following the American Library Association's announcement of the winners of the Youth Media Awards, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards, are filled with as much joy as debate. We all have our favorite children's and YA books of the year (you can view the BookPage Best Children's and YA Books of 2014 here). Sometimes your favorites don't get the recognition you hoped for, and sometimes they do. And sometimes it seems like the award committee likes to test our understanding of the awards just because they can.
But putting all that aside, we love catching up with the winners of these awards, so we spoke with Caldecott winner Dan Santat, Newbery winner Kwame Alexander and Printz winner Jandy Nelson about what it's like to be recognized as the best in children's and young adult literature.
"It was a dream come true. A dream I never thought I would ever achieve."
"Am I delirious? Dreaming? Did he just really say 'Medal'? And then, like the clouds shifting to reveal the golden sun, my life changed, a new normal ablaze."
"I love being inside the minds/hearts of my teen narrators, love the urgency of the teen experience, that period of time when everything is so new, so dramatic, so emotional, so confusing, so funny, so raw, so honest, so everything."
It's February, and everyone has their favorite literary couples: Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Sometimes the best duos are the ones you'd never think had anything in common . . . like, who would've thought that Ron and Hermione would stop fighting long enough to fall in love?
Oh, it's just so difficult when everyone loves you. Where will the two medals go, anyway? Here's an attempt to pile them on via Mariko Tamaki's website.
With the recent announcement that This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki had won both a Printz Honor and a Caldecott Honor—the first graphic novel to win the latter—these two supposedly irreconcilable seals now sit side by side on the book's cover. The young adult (YA) world is buzzing with debate over this pairing, but I'd like to suggest that it's a terrific chance to challenge assumptions about these awards, and to think about what happens when they come together. Here are three ideas worth considering.
The Caldecott has pushed boundaries before.
The Caldecott medal is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children, with Honor books considered to be similarly distinguished runners-up.
Most Caldecott winners and Honor books have looked like picture books—they've been 32 pages or so, and generally taller than they are long—and many are appropriate for preschool audiences. But in 2008, the Caldecott medal went to The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, a book most likely to be enjoyed by late elementary school and early middle-school readers. Clocking in at a hefty 534 pages (and longer and almost wider than it is tall), Hugo Cabret was an unusual choice. And yet its detailed black and white drawings, and its mix of verbal and pictorial storytelling, could certainly be argued to be distinguished.
The two medals' criteria overlap in interesting ways.
In December, I'd predicted that This One Summer would walk away with the Printz award as the best book written for teens this year, based entirely on literary merit. Although "literary" seems at first to refer only to words, books that include both words and pictures have been recognized in the past. Consider American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, the medal winner in 2007.
Similarly, while the Caldecott's "for children" designation seems at first to exclude teens, a deeper dig through its terms and criteria reveals that "children" is actually defined as "persons of ages up to and including fourteen" (possibly a holdover from before the Printz and other YA awards were established, or before YA lit as it's currently understood existed at all). While the Caldecott is usually thought of as a children's illustration-based award and the Printz as a YA word-based one, there's no definitional reason why an illustrated book aimed at 12- to 14-year-olds can't qualify for—and win—medals in both categories.
This One Summer is all about in-between-ness and liminality.
And if any book was the one to show how this overlap might work, it's Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki's monochromatic, intensely reflective graphic novel. As discussed on this blog series all the way back in November, narrator Rose's age is never actually specified. We know that her younger friend Windy is still very much a child and her aspirational "like eighteen"-year-old crush is too old for her, making Rose probably around 12.
But by writing (and drawing) Rose as an in-between character, the Tamaki cousins actively invite readers to think about liminality, or what it means to be part one thing and part another. Suspended between childhood and young adulthood, Rose is the perfect protagonist of a book that's the first ever to be recognized by both the Caldecott and the Printz committees.
Sure, there've already been calls to redefine the Caldecott criteria to include only books aimed at children 12 and under—and already questions of whether collections that're determined to buy every Caldecott book will wind up with a title that doesn't quite belong. But I think the dual recognition of This One Summer is great for the book, great for children's and YA lit, great for graphic novels and great for ongoing discussions about what these awards are . . . or should be. Like Ron and Hermione, these two opposites might have more in common than they first appear.
What do you think of This One Summer's dual win? Do you think young-leaning YA graphic novels should be eligible for the Caldecott? Tell us in the comments!
Locker Combinations is a Book Case feature by BookPage contributor and young adult (YA) literature expert Jill Ratzan. Using a variety of literary, cultural and educational perspectives, Jill guest blogs about the latest in YA lit and the general direction, trends and changes of the field. Read more BookPage reviews, interviews and posts by Jill here.
Today the American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books for children and young adults, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards, with several of the BookPage Best Children's and YA Books of 2014 receiving well-earned nods.
Standouts include Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, which was our favorite to win the Newbery Medal but picked up a Newbery Honor, a Sibert Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author Book Award. The Right Word by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet also received recognition as the Sibert Award winner as well as a Caldecott Honor. This One Summer's Printz Honor came as no surprise, but we were tickled to discover that it also garnered a Caldecott Honor. And congratulations to Sharon Draper, who won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults!
Read on for all the winners:
NEWBERY: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (HMH)
Newbery Honor Books:
CALDECOTT: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat (Little, Brown)
Caldecott Honor Books:
CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR BOOK AWARD: Jacqueline Woodson for Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen)
King Author Honor Books:
CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR BOOK AWARD: Christopher Myers for Firebird, written by Misty Copeland (Putnam)
King Illustrator Honor Books:
CORETTA SCOTT KING/JOHN STEPTOE NEW TALENT AUTHOR AWARD: When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum)
PRINTZ: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Dial)
Printz Honor Books:
SIBERT AWARD for most distinguished informational book for children: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet (Eerdmans)
Sibert Honor Books:
THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL AWARD for distinguished beginning reader book: You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant (Two Lions)
Geisel Honor Books:
MORRIS AWARD for first-time YA author: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero (Cinco Puntos)
Click here to view all the winners, including the Alex Awards (the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences), the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Stonewall Book Award (books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience), the Pura Belpre Awards for Latino authors and illustrators and more.
Did your favorite children's or YA book pick up an award this year?
The National Book Critics Circle has chosen the finalists for their annual awards, which will be announced on March 12 in New York City (if you're local, you can watch for yourself—the ceremony is open to the public). Check out the fiction and nonfiction finalists below, and visit their site for the full list.
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
Marilynne Robinson, Lila
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
Phil Klay, Redeployment
Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence
Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China
John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
Maureen N. McLane, This Blue
Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night
Fanny Howe, Second Childhood
Fred Moten, The Feel Trio
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming
John Corey Whaley, Noggin
Deborah Wiles, Revolution
Eliot Schrefer, Threatened