Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, keynote speaker at Andrew Carnegie Medals announcements and celebration

For Immediate Release
Fri, 05/08/2015


Katharine Uhrich

Marketing Director


American Library Association


CHICAGO -- In what’s shaping up to be an exciting literary event at ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been announced as keynote speaker at the celebratory 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence award ceremony. The event, held from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, at the Hotel Nikko, will also include the announcements of the two medal winners—one for fiction, one for nonfiction. The 2015 event is looking just as unmissable as 2014, when winners Doris Kearns Goodwin and Donna Tartt attended the event and spent time mingling informally with attendees at the dessert and drinks reception after offering inspiring and entertaining remarks as they accepted their medals.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is NBA's all-time leading scorer, a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, U.S. Cultural Ambassador and a New York Times best-selling author, and regular Time magazine essayist.  He has written ten books, including children's stories, two autobiographies, and several historical works. "What Color is My World?" won the NAACP award for Best Children's Book. His first novel, "Mycroft Holmes" about Sherlock Holmes' older brother and co-written with Anna Waterhouse will be published in Fall 2015 by Titan Books. Abdul-Jabbar has long been a champion of the importance of libraries and has frequently spoken on the topic.

A conference highlight now in its fourth year, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence event includes the engaging program (hosted this year by current selection committee Chair Brad Hooper), and the dessert and drinks reception where attendees mingle with authors, colleagues, editors and ALA leaders. Tickets for the 2015 announcements are available at the ALA Annual Conference website when you register for the conference or may be added later.

The 2015 shortlisted titles for nonfiction are: "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption," by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House); "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History," by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt); and "Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David," by Lawrence Wright (Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC). The 2015 shortlisted titles for fiction are "All the Light We Cannot See," by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.); "Nora Webster," by Colm Tóibín (Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.); and "On Such a Full Sea," by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group [USA]).

The Andrew Carnegie Medals were established in 2012 by the American Library Association and Carnegie Corporation of New York to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the U.S. in the previous year. They are the first single-book awards for adult titles given by ALA and are cosponsored and administered by Booklist and RUSA. For more information and to see past longlists, shortlists, and winners, visit Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

As at the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, the Michael L. Printz Program and Reception, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction announcements and presentations, and the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet are being held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening respectively, allowing attendees to enjoy all three awards events without conflicts.

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