Kirkus Prize judges Chang-rae Lee, Kiese Laymon, and Nicola Yoon dish on deliberations.
With this year’s (virtual) Kirkus Prize ceremony just days away, editor-in-chief Tom Beer and host Megan Labrise teamed up for this special episode on the making of the 2020 Kirkus Prize.
Now in its seventh year, the Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world. Three awards of $50,000—and a custom trophy by London-based design firm Vezzini and Chen—go to the best books in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature. The winners are selected by panels comprised of esteemed authors, booksellers, librarians, and Kirkus critics.
Beer and Labrise go behind the scenes with fiction judge Chang-rae Lee, nonfiction judge Kiese Laymon, and young readers’ literature judge Nicola Yoon to find out their processes for determining this year’s six-book shortlists.
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join to discuss all 18 finalists.
After listening in, join us for the Kirkus Prize ceremony livestream at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Kirkus Prize Young Readers’ Literature Finalists:
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James (Nancy Paulsen Books)
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade (Roaring Brook)
The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf (Harper/HarperCollins)
Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books)
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins)
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (Little, Brown)
Kirkus Prize Nonfiction Finalists:
A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America’s Hurricanes by Eric Jay Dolin (Liveright/Norton)
Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs (Simon and Schuster)
The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask (St. Martin’s Press)
World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Milkweed)
Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream by Mychal Denzel Smith (Bold Type)
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House)
Kirkus Prize Fiction Finalists:
Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham(Catapult)
Fiebre Tropical by Juli Delgado Lopera(Feminist Press)
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein (Europa Editions)
Luster by Raven Leilani (FSG)
Deacon King Kong by James McBride (Riverhead)
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Grove)
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.