LAS VEGAS –The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, funded through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. “The Goldfinch,” by Donna Tartt received the medal for fiction, and “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin received the medal for nonfiction. The selections were announced on June 28 at the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Awards Presentation held during the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
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,” served as chair of the awards’ selection committee.
“Choosing the two winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, which involves reading many wonderful books, arriving –after much passionate discussion –at a shortlist of three works of fiction and three of nonfiction, and then selecting the eventual winners (after longer and even more impassioned and spirited discussions) is no easy task,” stated Pearl. “I know I speak for the whole award committee when I say that we take the responsibility of selecting the winners very seriously indeed. The reward for all our hard work is that readers can be assured that the three finalists in each category, and of course the winners themselves, are terrific reads, wonderfully written, thoroughly absorbing, and illuminating.”
Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., tells the tale of 13-year-old Manhattanite Theo. In the wake of his father’s abandonment, Theo grows 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.
Goodwin’s “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” published by Simon & Schuster, 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.
Tartt and Goodwin accepted their medals and $5,000 prizes in person at the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Awards Presentation.
Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction finalists each received $1,500. Fiction finalists included “Americanah,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.; and “Claire of the Sea Light,” by Edwidge Danticat, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Nonfiction finalists included “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.; and “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.
Members of the 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction selection committee included: Chair, Nancy Pearl; Brad Hooper, adult books editor, Booklist; Brian J. Kenney, director, White Plains (N.Y.) Public Library; Nancy L. McGill, retired collection development and analysis coordinator, King County (Wash.) Library System; Cathleen Towey Merenda, director, Westbury (N.Y.) Memorial Public Library; Donna Seaman, senior editor, adult books, Booklist; and Rebecca Vnuk, editor, reference and collection management, Booklist.
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 regarding 2014 winners, finalists and the awards are available 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.
About the ALA
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.