Annie Proulx, Colson Whitehead and Sherman Alexie are among the finalists for this year’s Kirkus Prizes. The awards — $50,000 each in fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature — are sponsored by Kirkus Reviews, an industry journal that prints pre-publication book reviews for libraries, bookstore owners and critics.


• “Imagine Me Gone,” by Adam Haslett (Little, Brown).

• “Carousel Court,” by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Simon & Schuster).

• “The Sport of Kings,” by C.E. Morgan (FSG).

• “Barkskins,” by Annie Proulx (Scribner).

• “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles (Viking).

• “The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday).

The fiction judges are novelist Claire Messud; Annie Philbrick, owner of Bank Square Books in Mystic, Conn.; and journalist Gene Seymour. They considered 314 titles that had received starred reviews in Kirkus.


• “At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails With Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others,” by Sarah Bakewell (Other).

• “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” by Matthew Desmond (Crown).

• “The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America,” by Michael Eric Dyson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

• “In the Darkroom,” by Susan Faludi (Metropolitan).

• “Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South,” by Beth Macy (Little, Brown).

• “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” by J.D. Vance (HarperCollins).

The nonfiction judges are author Jim Piechota; former Book World staff member Chris Schoppa, who is a bookseller at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington; and journalist and novelist Héctor Tobar. They considered 325 nonfiction titles that had received starred reviews in Kirkus.

Young Readers’ Literature

Picture Books:

• “Thunder Boy Jr.,” by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Little, Brown).

• “Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life,” by Ashley Bryan (Atheneum).

Middle Grade:

• “We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler,” by Russell Freedman (Clarion).

• “As Brave as You,” by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum).

Young Adult:

• “The Reader,” by Traci Chee (Putnam).

• “Burn Baby Burn,” by Meg Medina (Candlewick).

The young readers’ literature judges are author Jacqueline Woodson; Elizabeth Bluemle, author and co-owner of the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vt.; and Deborah D. Taylor, coordinator of school and student services for Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. They considered 515 titles that had received starred reviews in Kirkus.

The three winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Austin on Nov. 3.