Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction
Congratulations to Colson Whitehead and Matthew Desmond, 2017 winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction! All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event at ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago, sponsored by Novelist.
The Underground Railroad
(Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC)
In this magnetizing and wrenching saga, Whitehead tells the story of smart and resilient Cora, a young third-generation slave on a Georgia cotton plantation. Certain that the horror will only get worse, she flees with a young man who knows how to reach the Underground Railroad. Each stop Cora makes along the Underground Railroad reveals another shocking and malignant symptom of a country riven by catastrophic conflicts, a poisonous moral crisis, and diabolical violence. Hard-driving, laser-sharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead’s unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
(Crown, Penguin Random House LLC)
Desmond does a marvelous job exposing the harrowing stories of people who find themselves in bad situations, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail. He also makes the case that eviction disproportionately affects women (and, worse, their children). This is essential reading for anyone interested in social justice, poverty, and feminist issues, but its narrative nonfiction style will also draw general readers—and will hopefully spark national discussion.
Share the Story
This year’s shortlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction remind us of the power of stories. Do they remind you of something in your life, your community, your history? #ShareTheStory and use these titles to tell us about your own stories.
Selected stories will be featured in the Carnegie program at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference—because we want to share your story, too. Learn more.
About the Awards
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The winners (one for fiction, one for nonfiction) are announced at an event at the ALA Midwinter Meeting; winning authors receive a $5,000 cash award, and two finalists in each category receive $1,500. For more information on award seals, please visit the ALA store.
A longlist comprised of no more than 50 titles is released in September. Six finalists, three fiction and three nonfiction, are announced in October. The winners are announced at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony, Sunday, January 22, 5-7:00 p.m. EST, at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta.
Who Selects the Winners
The shortlisted authors and eventual winners reflect the expertise of a seven-member selection committee of library professionals from across the country who work closely with adult readers. The annually appointed selection committee includes a chair (Donna Seaman 2016-2017), one member of the American Booksellers Association, three Booklist editors or contributors, and three former members of RUSA CODES Notable Books Council. The committee members can be found here.
Supporting the Awards
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s centennial and in recognition of Andrew Carnegie's deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world.
Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) cosponsor the awards. Booklist also sponsors the Michael L. Printz Award , Odyssey Award and Alex Awards. RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) administers Notable Books, The Reading List, The Listen List and the Sophie Brody Award.