2019 Winner: fiction

THE NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 16, 2019

"Inspired by disclosures of a real-life Florida reform school's long-standing corruption and abusive practices, Whitehead's novel displays its author's facility with violent imagery and his skill at weaving narrative strands into an ingenious if disquieting whole."
The acclaimed author of The Underground Railroad (2016) follows up with a leaner, meaner saga of Deep South captivity set in the mid-20th century and fraught with horrors more chilling for being based on true-life atrocities. Read full book review >
CANTORAS by Carolina De Robertis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 3, 2019

"A stunning novel about queer love, womanhood, and personal and political revolution."
In the shadow of a violent dictatorship, five queer women find the courage and strength to live their truth. Read full book review >
THE OTHER AMERICANS by Laila Lalami
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 26, 2019

"A crime slowly unmasks a small town's worth of resentment and yearning."
A hit-and-run in the Mojave Desert dismantles a family and puts a structurally elegant mystery in motion. Read full book review >
LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE by Valeria Luiselli
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 12, 2019

"A powerful border story, at once intellectual and heartfelt."
A family treks south to the U.S.-Mexico border, bearing tales of broken migrant families all the way down. Read full book review >
TERRITORY OF LIGHT by Yuko Tsushima
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 12, 2019

"Each chapter is as elegant and self-contained as a pearl or a perfectly articulated drop of water."
This lovely, melancholy novel painstakingly documents a year in one young woman's life. Read full book review >
ON EARTH WE'RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS by Ocean Vuong
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 4, 2019

"A raw and incandescently written foray into fiction by one of our most gifted poets."
A young man writes a letter to his illiterate mother in an attempt to make sense of his traumatic beginnings. 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 86 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, 2018 to Oct. 31, 2019 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2019 Kirkus Prize. The Kirkus Prize judges will select three winners on Thursday, October 24, 2019.