2014 Winner: nonfiction

CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? by Roz Chast
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2014

"A top-notch graphic memoir that adds a whole new dimension to readers' appreciation of Chast and her work."
A revelatory and occasionally hilarious memoir by the New Yorker cartoonist on helping her parents through their old age. Read full book review >
JONATHAN SWIFT by Leo Damrosch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"A rich and rewarding portrait of an irreplaceable genius."
A feisty, first-class life of the sage and scourge of English Literature. Read full book review >
THE SIXTH EXTINCTION by Elizabeth Kolbert
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A highly significant eye-opener rich in facts and enjoyment."
New Yorker staff writer Kolbert (Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, 2006, etc.) returns with a deft examination of the startling losses of the sixth mass extinction occurring at this moment and the sobering, underlying cause: humans. Read full book review >
THE LAGOON by Armand Marie Leroi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 25, 2014

"A wide-ranging, delightful tour de force."
Leroi (Evolutionary Development Biology/Imperial Coll. London; Mutants:On the Form, Variety and Errors of the Human Body, 2003) calls on his expertise and his experience as a BBC science presenter to explain why Aristotle's writings on science are still relevant today. Read full book review >
CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by Thomas Piketty
NON-FICTION
Released: March 10, 2014

"Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse."
A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud. Read full book review >
JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Emotionally profound, necessary reading."
A distinguished NYU law professor and MacArthur grant recipient offers the compelling story of the legal practice he founded to protect the rights of people on the margins of American society. Read full book review >

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ABOUT THE KIRKUS PRIZE

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2015, and October 31, 2016 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2016 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 3, 2016, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.