ALA unveils shortlist for 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/24/2018

Contact:

Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Communications and Marketing Office

mmorales@ala.org

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) today announced six books shortlisted for the esteemed Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year's best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the United States. The two medal winners will be announced at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs), sponsored by NoveList, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits  in Seattle, Washington, on January 27, 2019.

2019 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction shortlist titles include:

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction 2019 Shortlist

  • “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America,” by Beth Macy, published by Little, Brown.
    Macy’s years of reporting on the still-unfolding U.S. opioid crisis earned her remarkable access to people whose lives have been upended by these drugs. Hers is a timely, crucial, and many-faceted look at how we got here, giving voice to the far-reaching realities of the addicted and the people who care for them.

  • “Heavy: An American Memoir,” by Kiese Laymon, published by Scribner.
    In his artfully crafted and boldly revealing memoir, writing professor Laymon recalls the traumas of his Mississippi youth; the depthless hunger that elevated his weight; his obsessive, corrective regime of diet and exercise; his gambling, teaching, activism, and trust in the power of writing.

  • “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border,” by Francisco Cantú, published by Riverhead.
    Readers accompany Cantú to parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, as he recounts his years working for the U.S. Border Patrol. Remaining objective without moralizing, he shares a heart-wrenching, discussion-provoking perspective on how a border can tear apart families, lives, and a sense of justice.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 2019 Shortlist

  • “The Great Believers,” by Rebecca Makkai, published by Viking.
    Makkai’s ambitious novel explores the complexities of friendship, family, art, fear, and love in meticulously realized settings––WWI-era and present-day Paris, and 1980s Chicago––while insightfully and empathically illuminating the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

  • “There There,” by Tommy Orange, published by Knopf.
    Orange’s symphonic tale spans miles and decades to encompass an intricate web of characters, all anticipating the upcoming Big Oakland Powwow. Orange lights a thrilling path through their stories, and leaves readers with a fascinating exploration of what it means to be an Urban Indian.

  • “Washington Black,” by Esi Edugyan, published by Knopf.
    This evocative novel, equally rich in character and adventure, tells the wonderfully strange story of young George Washington Black who goes from Caribbean slavery to Arctic exploration, via hot-air balloon, to search for his mentor in London.

The Carnegie Medal winner announcements will take place during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, which now offer all ALA book and media award announcements in the same 24 hours, with the Book & Media Awards (BMA) preceding the ALA Youth Media Award (YMA) announcements. Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event at ALA’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

The awards, established in 2012, 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 and booksellers who work closely with adult readers.

The Medals are made possible, in part, 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 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 . Also, book cover artwork is available for download at http://tinyurl.com/CarnegieMedalsArtwork . 

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie 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.

About Booklist
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 180,000+ 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 (RUSA) is a member community engaged in advancing the practices of connecting people to resources, information services, and collections, building relationships among members from all types of libraries, encouraging openness, innovation, and idea sharing, and promoting excellence in library services and resources.

About ALA
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. To make a contribution to support our work, visit ala.org/donate.