2019 Finalists: nonfiction

GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN by Hanif  Abdurraqib
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Feb. 1, 2019

"Even those who know little about the music will learn much of significance here, perhaps learning how to love it in the process."
Memoir meets cultural criticism in this bittersweet appreciation of hip-hop visionaries A Tribe Called Quest. Read full book review >
WHEN DEATH TAKES SOMETHING FROM YOU GIVE IT BACK by Naja Marie Aidt
Released: Sept. 3, 2019

"A stirring, inventive masterpiece of heartbreak."
A memoir of the author's struggle to find the words to mourn her son's death. Read full book review >
HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES by Saeed Jones
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 8, 2019

"A memoir of coming to terms that's written with masterful control of both style and material."
A coming-of-age memoir marks the emergence of a major literary voice. Read full book review >
SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden Keefe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 26, 2019

"A harrowing story of politically motivated crime that could not have been better told."
Half a century after the fact, a cold case in Northern Ireland provides a frame for a deeply observed history of the Troubles. Read full book review >
THE UNGRATEFUL REFUGEE by Dina Nayeri
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 3, 2019

"A unique, deeply thought-out refugee saga perfect for our moment."
A novelist turns to nonfiction to illuminate the refugee experience, focusing mostly on her Iranian family but also reporting the sagas of many others fleeing poverty and violence. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: May 7, 2019

"Bracing and gut-wrenching, with slivers of hope throughout, this is exemplary, moving reportage on an important subject that often remains in the dark due to shame and/or fear."
A powerful exploration of the sinister, insidious nature of domestic violence in America. 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.