An initiative of the American Library Association

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medals

Six finalists, three fiction and three nonfiction, have been selected for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

The two medal winners will be announced on January 27, 2019, at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards event at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle. Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event, sponsored by NoveList, at ALA’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Fiction

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Washington Black

by Esi Edugyan

This evocative novel, equally rich in character and adventure, tells the wonderfully strange story of young George Washington Black who goes from Caribbean slavery to Arctic exploration, via hot-air balloon, to search for his mentor in London

Knopf, 2018.

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Click for a Reading Guide.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

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The Great Believers

by Rebecca Makkai

Makkai’s ambitious novel explores the complexities of friendship, family, art, fear, and love in meticulously realized settings––WWI-era and present-day Paris, and 1980s Chicago––while insightfully and empathically illuminating the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

Viking, 2018.

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Click for a Reading Guide.

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There There

by Tommy Orange

Orange’s symphonic tale spans miles and decades to encompass an intricate web of characters, all anticipating the upcoming Big Oakland Powwow. Orange lights a thrilling path through their stories, and leaves readers with a fascinating exploration of what it means to be an Urban Indian.

Knopf, 2018.

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Click for a Reading Guide.

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Nonfiction

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The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

by Francisco Cantú

Readers accompany Cantú to parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, as he recounts his years working for the U.S. Border Patrol. Remaining objective without moralizing, he shares a heart-wrenching, discussion-provoking perspective on how a border can tear apart families, lives, and a sense of justice.

Riverhead, 2018.

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Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

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Heavy: An American Memoir

by Kiese Laymon

In his artfully crafted and boldly revealing memoir, writing professor Laymon recalls the traumas of his Mississippi youth; the depthless hunger that elevated his weight; his obsessive, corrective regime of diet and exercise; his gambling, teaching, activism, and trust in the power of writing.

Scribner, 2018.

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Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

by Beth Macy

Macy’s years of reporting on the still-unfolding U.S. opioid crisis earned her remarkable access to people whose lives have been upended by these drugs. Hers is a timely, crucial, and many-faceted look at how we got here, giving voice to the far-reaching realities of the addicted and the people who care for them.

Little, Brown, 2018.

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Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

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