For immediate release | November 15, 2022

ALA unveils shortlist for 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

CHICAGO –Today, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the 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. 2023 selection committee chair Stephen Sposato will announce the two medal winners at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) live streaming event, during LibLearnX on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. CT.

2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction shortlist titles include:

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 2023 Shortlist

“Greenland,” by David Santos Donaldson. Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Working on a historical novel about E. M. Forster’s Egyptian lover, Mohammed el-Adl, writer Kip confronts his own trauma and alienation. Donaldson delivers a psychologically acute portrayal of a queer Black man crumbling under the weight of personal, historical, and racial trauma. Despite heavy subject material, Kip’s irreverent narration provides moments of memorable levity.

“Night of the Living Rez,” by Morgan Talty. Tin House.

At the heart of this collection of linked stories is David, a member of the Penobscot Nation in Maine, in whose small world Native traditions mix matter-of-factly with binge-watches of The Sopranos. With a clear-eyed and compassionate gaze, Talty reveals the complexity of his characters and the ways they are shaped by their community and their pasts.

“The Swimmers,” by Julie Otsuka. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

In an underground pool, a collective “we” reports the comings and goings of the titular swimmers, regulars who have established their schedules, lanes, and paces with comforting familiarity, until a crack in the pool floor causes upheaval. The water was an essential haven for Alice, whose story aboveground is a polyphonic reveal through her fading memories. Otsuka’s devastating masterpiece is an extraordinary examination of the fragility of human relationships.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction 2022 Shortlist

“Constructing a Nervous System,” by Margo Jefferson. Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Blending the multicolored threads of Black cultural life with memories of her past in this impressionistic memoir, Jefferson reflects on the Black icons who shaped her worldview, from jazz great Bud Powell to legendary entertainer and Resistance hero Josephine Baker. Jefferson is a critic’s critic, turning her keenly honed analysis on herself, her family, and her class, while relentlessly interrogating the broader underlying context of white racism.

“An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden World around Us,” by Ed Yong. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

The animals and their unique perceptual abilities Yong examines here range from the platypus with a bill that detects electric fields, the echolocation prowess of bats and dolphins, the ultrafast vision of killer flies, and the outstanding olfaction of elephants. Yong’s scientific curiosity is contagious, and his writing is empathetic, impeccably researched, imaginative, and entertaining.

“Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage,” by Rachel E. Gross. W.W. Norton & Company.

Realizing that the terminology for what medicine refers to as “the female reproductive system” was insufficient, Gross set out to correct this. The result expertly balances authoritative sources, history, and scientific data with frank discussions by medical professionals, scientists, and people of all genders.

Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event in the summer of 2023 during ALA's annual conference.

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).

More information on the finalists and the awards can be found at Also, book cover artwork is available for download at

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 a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years, and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view or listen to. It comprises two print magazines, a magazine for library patrons, an extensive website and database,e-newsletters, webinars, and other resources that support librarians in collection development and readers' advisory.

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

Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership in the transformation and the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services as well as the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office