2016 Shortlist

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 2016 Finalists:

Viet Thanh Nguyen. The Sympathizer,
published by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic.

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s cross-grained protagonist exposes the hidden costs in both countries of America’s tragic Asian misadventure. Nguyen’s probing literary art illuminates how Americans failed in their political and military attempt to remake Vietnam—but then succeeded spectacularly in shrouding their failure in Hollywood distortions. Compelling—and profoundly unsettling.

Jim Shepard. The Book of Aron,
published by Alfred A. Knopf, Penguin Random House, LLC.

Jim Shepard, a writer of extraordinary historical vision, psychological acuity, and searing irony, presents a profoundly moving portrait of its young narrator Aron; explores, with awe, our instinct to adapt and survive; and through the evolving consciousness of his phenomenally commanding young narrator, exposes the catastrophic impact of war and genocide on children.

Hanya Yanagihara. A Little Life,
published by Doubleday, Penguin Random House, LLC.

This long, claustrophobically written novel follows the lives of four college men from their early post-graduation days in New York through much of their accomplished adult lives, and backward to their childhoods. This profoundly disturbing book is about pain and compulsion, secrets and betrayals, sexuality and loss—but, finally, about friendship.


Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction 2016 Finalists:

Helen Macdonald. H is for Hawk,
published by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic.

Transfixed by books and birds of prey as a girl, Macdonald became a historian, writer, and professional falconer involved in avian research and conversation. After the sudden death of her father, Macdonald trains for the first time a dangerous goshawk predator as part of her personal recovery. In this profoundly inquiring and wholly enrapturing memoir, Macdonald exquisitely and unforgettably entwines misery and astonishment, elegy and natural history, human and hawk.

Sally Mann. Hold Still,
published by Little, Brown, and Company, Hachette Book Group.

Mann reveals the deep wellsprings of her most poetic and disconcerting images. She shares, for the first time, the dark side of her notoriety, as well as the daring adventures behind more recent photographic series. Mann shares staggering family secrets, including her in-laws’ deceptive lives and violent deaths, her Mayflower-blue-blood mother’s scandalously unconventional childhood, and her self-sacrificing country-doctor father’s complicated legacy of slave ownership, wealth, and philanthropy.

Andrea Wulf. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World,
published by Alfred A. Knopf, Penguin Random House, LLC.

Andrea Wulf, a historian with an invaluable environmental perspective, presents with zest and eloquence the full story of German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s adventurous life and extraordinary achievements, from making science “accessible and popular” to his early warnings about how deforestation, monoculture agriculture, and industrialization would engender disastrous climate change.


The previous six finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction:

2015 Shortlist

2014 Shortlist

2013 Shortlist

2012 Shortlist