CHICAGO —The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the six books shortlisted for the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The medals are awarded for the best fiction and nonfiction books written for adults in the previous year and published in the U.S. As part of an announcement and medal presentation event at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June, each winning author will receive $5,000 and the four finalists will each receive $1,500.
2014 shortlisted titles are:
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Shortlist
On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History, by Nicholas A. Basbanes. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Combining crisp technical explanations with vivid historical and contemporary profiles, Basbanes unfolds the two-thousand-year story of paper, revealing in the process that paper is nothing less than an embodiment of humanity.
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, by Sheri Fink. Published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
As the floodwaters rose after Hurricane Katrina, patients, staff, and families who sheltered in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital faced a crisis far worse than the storm itself. Fink’s breathtaking account of the storm and what happened at Memorial offers a fascinating look at how people behave in times of crisis.
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Published by Simon & Schuster
This masterful study examines the complex relationship between two presidents, Roosevelt and Taft, who played major roles in the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century. Acclaimed historian Goodwin offers a superb re-creation of a period when many politicians, journalists, and citizens of differing political affiliations viewed government as a force for public good.
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Shortlist
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
To the women in the hair-braiding salon, Ifemelu seems to have everything a Nigerian immigrant in America could desire, but the culture shock, hardships, and racism she’s endured have left her feeling like she has “cement in her soul.” Americanah is a courageous novel of independence, integrity, community, and love.
Claire of the Sea Light, by Edwidge Danticat. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
In interlocking stories moving back and forth in time, Danticat weaves a beautifully rendered portrait of longing in the small fishing town of Ville Rose in Haiti. The stories flow seamlessly one into another and are distinguished by Danticat’s luminous prose.
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
In the wake of his nefarious father’s abandonment, Theo, a smart, 13-year-old Manhattanite, is extremely close to his vivacious mother—until an act of terrorism catapults him into a dizzying world bereft of gravity, certainty, or love. Tartt writes from Theo’s point of view with fierce exactitude and magnetic emotion.
The awards, established in 2012, recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the American Library Association and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers. Nancy Pearl, librarian, literature expert, NPR commentator, and best-selling author of Book Lust, serves as chair of the awards’ selection committee.
The awards are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognition of Andrew Carnegie’s deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world, and are co-sponsored by ALA’s Booklist publications and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).
Annotations and more information on the finalists and the awards can be found at http://www.ala.org/carnegieadult.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.
Booklist is the book review magazine of the American Library Association, considered an essential collection development and readers' advisory tool by thousands of librarians for more than 100 years. Booklist Online includes a growing archive of 160,000+ reviews available to subscribers as well as a wealth of free content offering the latest news and views on books and media.
About Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
The Reference and User Services Association is responsible for stimulating and supporting excellence in the delivery of general library services and materials, and the provision of reference and information services, collection development, readers' advisory, and resource sharing for adults, in every type of library.
Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.