Here are the finalists for the 10th Annual Kirkus Prize.


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August 30, 2023, 10:01am

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest annual literary awards in the world with the prizes totaling $150,000. Writers become eligible by receiving a rare, starred review from Kirkus Reviews; this year’s 18 finalists were chosen from 608 young readers’ literature titles, 435 fiction titles, and 435 nonfiction titles.

Kirkus Reviews editor-in-chief Tom Beer says, “This year marks the 10th annual Kirkus Prize, and we’re proud to unveil an especially robust slate of finalists to be celebrated, for the first time in the prize’s history, at a ceremony in New York. From gorgeously written and moving fiction, to deeply researched and clear-eyed nonfiction, to young readers’ literature that entertains and educates, the finalists represent the very best books that Kirkus has seen this year.”

Judged by bookseller Rosa Hernandez, book critic Michael Schaub, and Kirkus fiction editor Laurie Muchnick, the finalists for the 2023 Kirkus Prize in Fiction are:

Jamel Brinkley, Witness (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Eleanor Catton, Birnam Wood (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Kelly Link, White Cat, Black Dog (Random House)

James McBride, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store (Riverhead)

Paul Murray, The Bee Sting (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Jesmyn Ward, Let Us Descend (Scribner)

Judged by Mark Athitakis, Anjali Enjeti, and Kirkus nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau, the finalists for the 2023 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction are:

Tania Branigan, Red Memory: The Afterlives of China’s Cultural Revolution (Norton)

Jennifer Homans, Mr. B: George Balanchine’s 20th Century (Random House)

Clancy Martin, How Not To Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind (Pantheon)

Safiya Sinclair, How To Say Babylon: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster)

Héctor Tobar, Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino” (MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Ilyon Woo, Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom (Simon & Schuster)

Judged by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, high school librarian Ayn Reyes Frazee, and Kirkus young readers’ editors Mahnaz Dar and Laura Simeon, the finalists for the 2023 Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature are:

Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, Together We Swim (Chronicle Books)

Roger Mello, translated by Daniel Hahn, João by a Thread (Elsewhere Editions)

Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston, Julia and the Shark (Union Square Kids)

Jon Klassen, The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale (Candlewick)

Ariel Aberg-Riger, America Redux: Visual Stories From Our Dynamic History (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

Louise Finch, The Eternal Return of Clara Hart (Little Island)

The three 2023 Kirkus Prize winners will be announced at an in-person ceremony on October 11, 2023 and livestreamed on  Kirkus’ YouTube channel.

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Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lamber is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes about arts, entertainment, lifestyle, and home news. Nicole has been a journalist for years and loves to write about what's going on in the world.

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