'The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu,' 'A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance' receive 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
ALA Media Relations
CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) selects “The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu,” by Tom Lin, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, as the winner of the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and "A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance," by Hanif Abdurraqib, published by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, as the winner of the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. The selections were announced at the Reference and User Services Association's Book and Media Awards (BMAs) virtual event, sponsored by NoveList, on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, during LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience.
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.
In Utah, in 1869, Ming Tsu reckons he has killed some 200 men and is now on his way to killing the five who had beaten him half to death, stolen his wife, and had him sentenced to 10 years of forced labor building the Central Pacific Railroad. Two years later, Ming has escaped and is ready for retribution. Joining him en route to revenge are the Prophet, who guides Ming both physically and spiritually, and three players in a traveling miracle show. Infused with magic realism, Lin’s beautifully imagined first novel is a transcendent epic.
Blending pop-culture essays, memoir and poetry, Abdurraqib delves into the many iterations of Black artistic expression through an often deeply personal lens. Whether pondering the dynamic life and contributions of Josephine Baker (to whom the book is dedicated) or meditating on his own various performances, the author’s ruminations are an invitation to think deeply about Black performance on both cultural and individual levels. Startling, layered and timely, this is an essential, illuminating collection.
“Congratulations to both Medalists for gifting readers with essential antidotes to the polarizing challenges we continue to face,” said Terry Hong, chair of the selection committee for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence. “Amidst the alarming spikes of violent anti-Asian hate, ‘The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu’ is a brilliantly fictionalized reclamation of Asian American history. Meanwhile, ‘A Little Devil in America’ stupendously asserts crucial expressions of Black American performance. Both provide irrefutable evidence of a nation that has been diverse for centuries.” Hong added, “And thank you again for the joyful opportunity to work with this year’s perceptive, thoughtful committee.”
The 2022 fiction finalists include “The Five Wounds,” by Kirstin Valdez Quade, published by W. W. Norton & Company; “Matrix,” by Lauren Groff, published by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; and “The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu,” by Tom Lin, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group.
2022 nonfiction finalists include “Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019,” edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, published by One World, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; “A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance,” by Hanif Abdurraqib, published by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; and “Seek You: A Journey through American Loneliness,” by Kristen Radtke, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event at ALA's 2022 Annual Conference in June.
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 http://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/carnegie-medals. Also, book cover artwork is available for download at http://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/carnegie-medals/resources
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.
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 digital 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.
Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 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.