2016 Winner: fiction

THE SPORT OF KINGS by C.E. Morgan
Released: May 3, 2016

"Vaultingly ambitious, thrillingly well-written, charged with moral fervor and rueful compassion. How will this dazzling writer astonish us next time?"
Morgan follows up her slim, keening debut (All the Living, 2009) with an epic novel steeped in American history and geography.Read full book review >
IMAGINE ME GONE by Adam Haslett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 3, 2016

"As vivid and moving as the novel is, it's not because Haslett strives to surprise but because he's so mindful and expressive of how much precious life there is in both normalcy and anguish."
This touching chronicle of love and pain traces half a century in a family of five from the parents' engagement in 1963 through a father's and son's psychological torments and a final crisis. Read full book review >
CAROUSEL COURT by Joe McGinniss Jr.
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"McGinniss covers familiar territory in the marketplace and marriage but injects it with an urgency, a sense of constant, inescapable threat that all adds up to a taut page-turner."
A young couple's plan to flip a house in Southern California goes awry and old wounds in their marriage reopen in this dark novel of unrelenting tension. Read full book review >
BARKSKINS by Annie Proulx
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2016

"Another tremendous book from Proulx, sure to find and enthrall many readers."
Renowned author Proulx (Bird Cloud: A Memoir, 2011, etc.) moves into Michener territory with a vast multigenerational story of the North Woods.Read full book review >
A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history, this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility (2011)."
Sentenced to house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel by a Bolshevik tribunal for writing a poem deemed to encourage revolt, Count Alexander Rostov nonetheless lives the fullest of lives, discovering the depths of his humanity. Read full book review >
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Whitehead continues the African-American artists' inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing audacity and razor-sharp ingenuity; he is now assuredly a writer of the first rank."
What if the metaphorical Underground Railroad had been an actual…underground railroad, complete with steam locomotive pulling a "dilapidated box car" along a subterranean nexus of steel tracks? 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 Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 2, 2017, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.