2018 Finalists: fiction

HALSEY STREET by Naima  Coster
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2018

"Absorbing and alive, the kind of novel that swallows you whole."
A quiet gut-punch of a debut, Coster's novel is a family saga set against the landscape of gentrifying Brooklyn. Read full book review >
FLORIDA by Lauren Groff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 5, 2018

"A literary tour de force of precariousness set in a blistering place, a state shaped like a gun."
In 11 electric short stories, the gifted Groff (Fates and Furies, 2015, etc.) unpacks the "dread and heat" of her home state. Read full book review >
MOURNING by Eduardo Halfon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 8, 2018

"In this follow-up to The Polish Boxer (2012) and Monastery (2014), Halfon constructs a kind of postmodern memorial to his grandfathers, who outlived the horrors of the Holocaust but not its searing emotional aftereffects."
In his latest autobiographical novel to be translated into English, Guatemalan native Halfon's same-named alter ego continues his far-flung travels to probe hidden family truths dating back to Nazi concentration camps. Read full book review >
SEVERANCE by Ling Ma
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 14, 2018

"Smart, funny, humane, and superbly well-written."
A post-apocalyptic—and pre-apocalyptic—debut. Read full book review >
HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 10, 2018

"In an era when writers of color are broadening the space in which class and culture as well as race are examined, Thompson-Spires' auspicious beginnings augur a bright future in which she could set new standards for the short story."
A bold new voice, at once insolently sardonic and incisively compassionate, asserts itself amid a surging wave of young African-American fiction writers. Read full book review >
TELL THE MACHINE GOODNIGHT by Katie Williams
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 19, 2018

"With its clever, compelling vision of the future, deeply human characters, and delightfully unpredictable story, this novel is itself a recipe for contentment."
In her first book for adults, Williams imagines a not-too-distant future in which people find happiness with the help of machines. 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 85 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earn the Kirkus Star with publication dates between Nov. 1, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2018 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2018 Kirkus Prize. Six finalists in each of three categories will be announced on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. The Kirkus Prize judges will select three winners on Thursday, October 25, 2018.