2019 Winners


Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers


Book cover: The Great BelieversMakkai’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.

Read the Booklist review.


Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir


Book cover: Heavy: An American MemoirIn 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.

Read the Booklist review.



Book cover:Washington Black

Esi Edugyan

Washington Black


Book cover: The Great Believers

Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers


Book cover: There There

Tommy Orange

There There





Ackerman, Elliot. Waiting for Eden. (Knopf)

Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame. Friday Black. (HMH/Mariner)

Ball, Jesse. Census. (Ecco)

Edugyan, Esi. Washington Black. (Knopf)

Emezi, Akwaeke. Freshwater. (Grove)

Enger, Leif. Virgil Wander. (Grove/Atlantic)

Evans, Diana. Ordinary People. (Norton/Liveright)

Faye, Gaël. Small Country. (Hogarth)

House, Silas. Southernmost. (Algonquin)

Jones, Tayari. An American Marriage. (Algonquin)

Kingsolver, Barbara. Unsheltered. (Harper)

Kushner, Rachel. The Mars Room. (Scribner)

Kwon, R.O. The Incendiaries. (Riverhead)

Makkai, Rebecca. The Great Believers. (Viking)

Miller, Madeline. Circe. (Little, Brown)

Mosley, Walter. John Woman. (Grove)

Ondaatje, Michael. Warlight. (Knopf)

Orange, Tommy. There There. (Knopf)

Powers, Richard. The Overstory. (Norton)

Shteyngart, Gary. Lake Success. (Random)

Sittenfeld, Curtis. You Think It, I’ll Say It. (Random)

Tamirat, Nafkote. The Parking Lot Attendant. (Holt)

Tyler, Anne. Clock Dance. (Knopf)

Winman, Sarah. Tin Man. (Putnam)

Winthrop, Elizabeth. The Mercy Seat. (Grove)


Albright, Madeleine. Fascism: A Warning. (Harper)

Anderson, Sam. Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis. (Crown)

Austen, Ben. High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing. (Harper)

Cantú, Francisco. The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border. (Riverhead)

Chee, Alexander. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. (HMH/Mariner)

Clark, Anna. The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy. (Holt/Metropolitan)

De Hart, Jane Sherron. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Knopf)

Gerald, Casey. There Will Be No Miracles Here. (Riverhead)

Haygood, Wil. Tigerland, 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing. (Knopf)

Hilsum, Lindsey. In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin. (FSG)

Hinton, Anthony Ray and Lara Love Hardin. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row. (St. Martin’s)

Johnson, Kirk Wallace. The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century. (Viking)

Laymon, Kiese. Heavy: An American Memoir. (Scribner)

Levy, Deborah. The Cost of Living. (Bloomsbury)

Klinenberg, Eric. Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. (Crown)

Macy, Beth. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America. (Little, Brown)

McNamara, Michelle. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. (Harper)

Mohr, Tim. Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. (Algonquin)

Orlean, Susan. The Library Book. (Simon & Schuster)

Perry, Imani. Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry. (Beacon)

Wamariya, Clemantine and Elizabeth Weil. The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After. (Crown)

Westover, Tara. Educated. (Random)