The American Library Association (ALA) has announced six books as finalists for the 2013 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 U.S. They include:
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
The Mansion of Happiness: a History of Life and Death by Jill Lepore. “From board games, including one called The Mansion of Happiness, to public library children’s rooms to cryogenics, historian Lepore’s episodic inquiry into our evolving perceptions of life and death is full of surprises, irreverent wit and arresting perceptions.”
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: the Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan. “Popular historian Egan turns the life and work of master photographer Edward Curtis into a gripping and heroic story of one man’s commitment to the three-decade project that ultimately resulted in The North American Indian, a 20-volume collection of words and pictures documenting the Native American peoples of the American West.”
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen. “Science writer Quammen schools readers in the fascinating if alarming facts about zoonotic diseases—animal infections that sicken humans, such as rabies and Ebola. Drawing on the dramatic history of virology, he profiles brave viral sleuths and recounts his own hair-raising field adventures. A vital, in-depth account offered in the hope that knowledge will engender preparedness.”
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
Canada by Richard Ford. “’First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed.’ So begins Ford’s riveting novel, an atmospheric and haunting tale of family, folly, exile and endurance told in the precise and searching voice of Dell Parsons, a young man forced to navigate a harsh world.”
The Round House by Louise Erdrich. “In her 14th novel, Erdrich writes in the voice of a man reliving the fateful summer of his 13th year. Erdrich’s intimacy with her characters energizes this tale of hate crimes and vengeance, her latest immersion in the Ojibwe and white community she has been writing about for more than two decades.” Erdrich hails from North Dakota and was honored with the state’s Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award on April 19, 2013.
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz. “Fast paced and street-talking tough, Díaz’s stories unveil lives shadowed by prejudice and poverty and bereft of reliable love and trust. These are precarious, unappreciated lives in which intimacy is a lost art, masculinity a parody, and kindness, reason and hope struggle to survive like seedlings in a war zone.”
The awards, established in 2012, recognize the best of the best in fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They are made possible 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.
For more information, visit http://www.ala.org/carnegieadult.