2018 Winner: nonfiction

CALL THEM BY THEIR TRUE NAMES by Rebecca Solnit
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"Solnit is careful with her words (she always is) but never so much that she mutes the infuriated spirit that drives these essays."
For those heartsick at Trumpism, essayist and Harper's contributing editor Solnit (The Mother of All Questions, 2017, etc.) offers context and support. Optimism? You're on your own. Read full book review >
AMERICAN PRISON by Shane Bauer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A potent, necessary broadside against incarceration in the U.S., which 'imprisons a higher portion of its population than any country in the world.'"
A penetrating exposé on the cruelty and mind-bending corruption of privately run prisons across the United States, with a focus on the Winn facility in Louisiana. Read full book review >
HEAVY by Kiese Laymon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"A dynamic memoir that is unsettling in all the best ways."
A challenging memoir about black-white relations, income inequality, mother-son dynamics, Mississippi byways, lack of personal self-control, education from kindergarten through graduate school, and so much more. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

"An urgent, eye-opening look at a problem that promises to grow much worse in the face of inaction and indifference.
"
Harrowing travels through the land of the hypermedicated, courtesy of hopelessness, poverty, and large pharmaceutical companies. Read full book review >
HEARTLAND by Sarah Smarsh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A potent social and economic message embedded within an affecting memoir."
Journalist Smarsh explores socio-economic class and poverty through an account of her low-income, rural Kansas-based extended family. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TO UNFREEDOM by Timothy Snyder
Released: April 3, 2018

"A highly distressing, urgent alarm to awaken Americans to the peril of authoritarianism."
How Russia's campaign to undermine democracies threatens the European Union and the United States. Read full book review >

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.