2021 Winners

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

The six shortlist titles for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—were announced on November 17. The two medal winners will be announced by 2021 selection committee chair Bill Kelly at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) event, which will take place online on Thursday, February 4, 2021, 3-4pm CST. Everyone is invited to attend for this complimentary virtual event. Register Now!

Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. The six finalists and two winners will be honored during a celebratory event in the summer of 2021 during ALA's annual conference.

Share your favorite Andrew Carnegie Medal Shortlist titles on social media using the #ALA_Carnegie hashtag!

SHORTLIST

FICTION FINALISTS

Twitter share: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Shortlist Selection (Book cover: A Burning) Winners announced February 4!
A Burning
Megha Majumdar
(Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

After witnessing a gruesome train-station attack during her walk home to the slums, Jivan responds to a Facebook post. Days later, she has been beaten, jailed, and accused of terrorism, and the two people who could possibly save her have other priorities. Majumdar’s electrifying debut serves as a barometer measuring the seeming triviality of human life and the fragility of human connections.

 

Twitter share: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Shortlist Selection (Book cover:Deacon King Kong) Winners announced February 4!Book cover: Deacon King Kong

Deacon King Kong
James McBride
(Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)

Portraying a 1969 Brooklyn neighborhood through its outsiders, McBride creates tragedies, funny moments, major plot twists, and cultural and generational clashes. When the titular deacon, Sportcoat, the least likely of heroes, shoots a 19-year-old drug-dealer, everyone assumes the deacon’s days of freedom are numbered. But all is not as it seems.

 

Twitter share: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Shortlist Selection (Book cover: Homeland Elegies) Winners announced February 4! Book cover: Homeland Elegies
Homeland Elegies
Ayad Akhtar

(Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)

Akhtar confronts issues of race, money, family, politics, and sexuality in this bold, memoiristic novel about a young Pakistani American before and after 9/11. Money, and the debasement of other values, is a defining element of narrator Ayad’s relationship with his writing and his father, while the country’s crude racism prods both men to question whether America can ever truly be their home.

 

NONFICTION FINALISTS

 

Twitter share: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Shortlist Selection (Book cover: Fathoms: The World of the Whale) Winners announced February 4!Book cover: Fathoms: The World in the Whale


Fathoms: The World in the Whale
Rebecca Giggs
(Simon & Schuster)

Focusing on the history and current plight of whales, Giggs considers our ancient and persistent whale wonderment, high-tech whale hunting, the 1970s Save the Whales movement, global warming, mass extinction, and pollution, including the oceanic plastic plague. Deeply researched and deeply felt, Giggs’ revelatory and haunting investigation urges us to save the whales once again, and the oceans, and ourselves.

 

Twitter share: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Shortlist Selection (Book cover: Just Us ) Winners announced February 4!
Just Us: An American Conversation.
Claudia Rankine
(Graywolf Press)

With an arresting blend of essays and images that’s perfectly attuned to this long-overdue moment of racial reckoning, Rankine analyzes the overwhelming power of whiteness in everyday interactions. Touching on Beyoncé, blondness, skin lightening, and the inherent tensions in her own interracial marriage, Rankine once again opens a literary window into the Black experience.

 

 Twitter share: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Shortlist Selection (Book cover: Memorial Drive) Winners announced February 4!
Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir
Natasha Trethewey
(Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins)

In her memoir, a work of exquisitely distilled anguish and elegiac drama, Trethewey confronts the horror of her mother’s murder through finely honed, evermore harrowing memories, dreams, visions, and musings. She writes, “To survive trauma, one must be able to tell a story about it.” And tell her tragic story she does in this lyrical, courageous, and resounding remembrance.

 

 

LONGLIST

FICTION

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Twitter share: Red dress in Black and White, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Longlist SeletionAckerman, Elliot.
Red Dress in Black and White.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: Homeland Elegies, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionAkhtar, Ayad.
Homeland Elegies.
(Little, Brown)

 

Twitter share:The Vanishing Half, Andrew Carnegie Medals for ExcellenceBennett, Brit.
The Vanishing Half.
(Riverhead)

 

Twitter share: Parakeet, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionBertino, Marie-Helene.
Parakeet.
(Farrar)

 

Twitter share: The Night Watchman, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionErdrich, Louise.
The Night Watchman. (Harper)

 

Twitter share: Crooked Hallelujah. 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionFord, Kelli Jo.
Crooked Hallelujah.
(Grove)

 

Twitter share: Transcendent Kingdom, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionGyasi, Yaa.
Transcendent Kingdom.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino. 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionHerbert, Julián.
Translated by Christina MacSweeney.
Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino.
(Graywolf)

 

Twitter share:Pew,  2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionLacey, Catherine.
Pew.
(Farrar)

 

Twiiter share: Luster, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionLeilani, Raven.
Luster.
(Farrar)

 

Twitter share: A BurningMajumdar, Megha.
A Burning.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: THe Glass Hotel, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionMandel, Emily St. John.
The Glass Hotel.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: Deacon King Kong, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionMcBride, James.
Deacon King Kong.
(Riverhead)

 

Twitter share: Apeirogon, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionMcCann, Colum.
Apeirogon.
(Random)

 

Twitter share: Hurricane Season, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionMelchor, Fernanda.
Translated by Sophie Hughes.
Hurricane Season.
(New Directions)

 

Twitter share; Utopia Avenue, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionMitchell, David.
Utopia Avenue.
(Random)

 

Twitter Share: Hamnet, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionO’Farrell, Maggie.
Hamnet.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: Weather, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionOffill, Jenny.
Weather.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: Echo on the Bay, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionOno, Masatsugu.
Translated by Angus Turvill.
Echo on the Bay.
(Two Lines)

 

Twitter share: JAck, Robinson, Marilynne.  
Jack.
(Farrar)

 

Twitter share: Shuggie Bain, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionStuart, Douglas.
Shuggie Bain.
(Grove)

 

Twitter share: Here We Are, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionSwift, Graham.
Here We Are.
(Knopf)

 

Twitter share: The Last Great Road Bum, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionTobar, Héctor.
The Last Great Road Bum.
(Farrar/MCD)

 

Twitter share: Run Me to Earth, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionYoon, Paul.
Run Me to Earth.
(Simon & Schuster)

 

Twitter share: Interior Chinatown, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionYu, Charles.
Interior Chinatown.
(Pantheon)

 

Twitter share:  Memorial, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionWashington, Bryan.
Memorial.
(Riverhead)

NONFICTION

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Twitter share: Humankind: A Hopeful History, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionBregman, Rutger.
Translated by Elizabeth Manton and Erica Moore.
Humankind: A Hopeful History.
(Little, Brown)

 

Twitter share: The Undocumented Americans, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionCornejo Villavicencio, Karla.
The Undocumented Americans.
(Random/One World)

 

Twitter share: Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionDemick, Barbara.
Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town.
(Random)

 

Twitter share:  Fathoms: The World in the Whale, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionGiggs, Rebecca.
Fathoms: The World in the Whale.
(Simon & Schuster)

 

Twitter share: The Beauty in Breaking, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionHarper, Michele.
The Beauty in Breaking.
(Riverhead)

 

Twitter share: The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionHarvey, Miles.
The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch.
(Little, Brown)

 

Twitter share: Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionHong, Cathy Park.
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning.
(Random/One World)

 

Twitter share: Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionJackson, Jeffrey H.
Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis.
(Algonquin)

 

Twitter share; Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family, Kolker, Robert.
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family.
(Doubleday)

 

Twitter share: Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionLalami, Laila.
Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America.
(Pantheon)

 

Twitter share: God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selection.Mikhail, Alan.
God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World.
(Norton/Liveright)

 

Twitter share:The Dragons, the Giant, the Women, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionMoore, Wayétu.
The Dragons, the Giant, the Women.
(Graywolf)

 

Twitter share: The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionPayne, Les and Tamara Payne.
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X.
(Norton/Liveright)

 

Twitter share: Just Us: An American Conversation, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionRankine, Claudia.
Just Us: An American Conversation.
(Graywolf)

 

Twitter share: My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionShapland, Jenn.
My Autobiography of Carson McCullers.
(Tin House)

 

Twitter share: Recollections of My Nonexistence, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionSolnit, Rebecca.
Recollections of My Nonexistence.
(Viking)

 

Twitter share: The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creatures in the Natural World, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selection Svensson, Patrik.
The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creatures in the Natural World.
(Ecco)

 

Twitter share: Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionTrethewey, Natasha.
Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir.
(Ecco)

 

Twitter share: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionWilkerson, Isabel.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.
(Random)

 

Twitter share: One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 1924-1965, 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist selectionYang, Jia Lynn.
One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 1924-1965.
(Norton)

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