2015 Nominees: fiction

I SAW A MAN by Owen Sheers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 9, 2015

"But these are small faults in the face of such a large talent as Sheers, a resourceful writer with a sharp eye for both the big picture and the lovely detail, such as 'tiny women lost in monstrous SUVs, their painted nails clutching the steering wheels like the feet of caged birds.'"
Accidental deaths in war and at home engender terrible lies and guilt in this highly original, engrossing literary thriller. Read full book review >
DINNER WITH BUDDHA by Roland Merullo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 2, 2015

"With six unconventionally religious novels to date, this brave, meditative author has carved a unique niche in American literature."
Merullo (Vatican Waltz, 2013, etc.) offers a third installment in the spiritual adventures of Otto Ringling.Read full book review >
DIETLAND by Sarai Walker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 26, 2015

"Part Fight Club, part feminist manifesto, an offbeat and genre-bending novel that aims high—and delivers."
Hilarious, surreal, and bracingly original, Walker's ambitious debut avoids moralistic traps to achieve something rarer: a genuinely subversive novel that's also serious fun. Read full book review >
THE STORM MURDERS by John Farrow
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 26, 2015

"One of the best mysteries from Canada in some time, this fourth book in a strong series is equally good at capturing the atmosphere of New Orleans and the distinctive qualities of Montreal."
After a farm couple is murdered in Montreal in the wake of a blizzard, newly retired DS Émile Cinq-Mars is asked by an FBI agent to look into possible connections with similar killings in New Orleans. Read full book review >
THE ROCKS by Peter Nichols
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 26, 2015

"A literary island vacation with a worldly, wonderfully salacious storyteller."
The lives and loves of expatriates on Mallorca, shaped by a 60-year-old misunderstanding. Read full book review >
WHEN THE HEAVENS FALL by Marc Turner
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 19, 2015

"A splendid launch. Turner's unquestionably a newcomer to watch."
Gods, zombies, kings, wizards, and death-magic battle to the, well, death in a story that's sparked more by its denizens and their deeds than its standard fantasy backdrop. Read full book review >
WAR OF THE ENCYCLOPAEDISTS by Christopher Robinson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 19, 2015

"That two different writers are at work is sometimes apparent but not bothersome given that two distinctive characters are in play, and the overall narrative's smart and entertaining."
Two "twentysomethings of early-millennium Seattle" take different paths to maturity in this likable, highly readable, double-bylined coming-of-age first novel. Read full book review >
THE MAINTENANCE OF HEADWAY by Magnus Mills
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 19, 2015

"Nearly flawless in its own unassuming way."
Set within the bureaucracy of the London bus system, Mills' slim novel fuses whimsy with warped logic. Read full book review >
HURRY PLEASE I WANT TO KNOW by Paul Griner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 15, 2015

"Although relatively simple in narrative structure, Griner's stories shine a glaring light on the complexities of human personality and family relationships."
Twenty-two stories ranging in length from a few paragraphs to 20 or so pages and in style from the freakishly absurd to the heartbreakingly realistic. Read full book review >
THE BLACK SNOW by Paul Lynch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Lynch evokes so many shades of guilt, pride, innocence, righteousness, and punishment that the book might help found a religion or maybe restore one's faith in a deity that could make a fine writer with one hand even if he unmade the Kanes with the other."
Life turns brutally cruel for a farming family of three in 1940s Ireland in this sad, haunting novel from a writer with a gift for language and character. Read full book review >
ONE RAINY DAY IN MAY by Mark Z. Danielewski
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"And as for all the loose ends? No worries—there are 26 volumes to come in which to tie them up."
Fabulist and avant-gardist Danielewski (House of Leaves, 2000, etc.) embarks upon a long-promised 27-volume fantasia with this sprawling, continent-hopping potpourri.Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF ARON by Jim Shepard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Ordinary people reveal dimensions that are extraordinarily cruel or kind."
An understated and devastating novel of the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation, as seen through the eyes of a street-wise boy. 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 November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 23, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.