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Six finalists in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction and Young Readers’ Literature $150,000 Bestowed Annually


New York (September 30, 2015)Kirkus Reviews, the nation’s leading prepublication journal of book reviews, today announced the six finalists for the second annual Kirkus Prize in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction and Young Readers’ Literature.

Winners in the three categories will receive $50,000 each, making the Kirkus Prize one of the richest annual literary awards in the world. Writers become eligible by receiving a rare starred review from Kirkus Reviews and an esteemed panel, composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics, select the Kirkus Prize finalists and winners.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Austin, Texas on Thursday, October 15, 2015.

The finalists for the 2015 Kirkus Prize are:


  • The Incarnations by Susan Barker (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster)
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin (FSG)
  • ‪‬Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli; translated by Christina MacSweeney (Coffee House Press)
  • The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard (Knopf)
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday)

The judges for the 2015 Kirkus Prize in fiction are: journalist and Kirkus critic Megan Labrise, owner of The Bookworm of Edwards, near Vail, Colorado Nicole Magistro, and author Colson Whitehead.


  • Between the World and Me: Notes on the First 150 Years in America by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau)
  • Whirlwind: The American Revolution and the War that Won It by John Ferling (Bloomsbury)
  • H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Grove)
  • The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze (Viking)
  • Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester (Harper)
  • The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf (Knopf)

The judges for the 2015 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction are: author Meghan Daum, book buyer for the J. Paul Getty Museum Stores in Los Angeles Marie du Vaure, and journalist and Kirkus critic Clayton Moore.


Picture Books:

  • The New Small Person by Lauren Child (Candlewick)
  • Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Shane W. Evans (Schwartz & Wade/Random House)

Middle Grade:

  • Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Scholastic)
  • Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams)

Young Adult:

  • The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough (Levine/Scholastic)
  • Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (Levine/Scholastic)

The judges for the 2015 Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature are: Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Professor at the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, author Jon Scieszka, and librarian, teacher and Kirkus critic Stephanie Seales.

2015 marks the second year of the Kirkus Prize. It was created to celebrate the discerning, thoughtful criticism that Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large since it was founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus.

Winners of the 2015 Kirkus Prize will be announced at a special ceremony at The Four Seasons Residences in Austin, Texas on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 6:00pm (Central Time) / 7:00pm (Eastern).

For more information about The 2015 Kirkus Prize, please visit Kirkus Reviews/prize

About Kirkus Reviews

Founded in 1933, Kirkus has been one of the most trusted and authoritative voices in book discovery. When Kirkus Reviews was established by Virginia Kirkus, it was an innovation in the publishing field. Virginia arranged to receive advance galley proofs of books from publishers — only 20 or so at first, but eventually nearly every firm of any size in the industry. She read the galleys and wrote brief, critical evaluations of their literary merit and probable popular appeal. Today, Kirkus Reviews covers more than 7,000 books published by traditional houses and more than 3,000 self-published books every year. The magazine is published on the 1st and 15th of every month, and because of the scope of their coverage, their authoritative voice and the timeliness of their reviews, Kirkus Reviews is revered by many as the first indicator of a book’s potential. For more information, visit

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