2015 Nominees: fiction

RISE by Karen Campbell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 9, 2015

"An engaging writer introduces herself with this fresh, intelligent entertainment, full of satisfying moving parts."
A young woman on the run from a vicious pursuer, a troubled marriage, a man tormented by a sneering ghost, and the fight to save a sacred landscape from development are the ingredients in a Scottish author's impressive U.S. debut. Read full book review >
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 >
THE HOUSEHOLD SPIRIT by Tod Wodicka
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 9, 2015

"Wodicka's fluid, expressive prose—dotted with quotable observations often as odd as his players—serves well his weaving of such a convincing, unexpected story from eccentricity, pain, and need."
An unconventional friendship arises between two damaged people sharing a lonely upstate New York road in this bittersweet, deeply sympathetic sophomore effort. Read full book review >
THE SUNKEN CATHEDRAL by Kate Walbert
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 9, 2015

"Elegant and elegiac."
An artful novel in stories from the author of A Short History of Women (2009) and Our Kind (2004).Read full book review >
MUSE by Jonathan Galassi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 2, 2015

"May be more fun for cognoscenti than for common readers, yet it offers a worthy psalm on the pre-Amazon, pre-digital days of publishing that anyone might appreciate. Galassi rates praise especially for choosing to have some knowing fun with his years in the business and sparing the world another memoir."
An insider's look at New York book publishing spins a fable of egos, literature, and commerce in which an editor's obsession with a poet leads to the revelation of a crucial secret. Read full book review >
ROYAL WEDDING by Meg Cabot
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 2, 2015

"This funny, heartwarming story is royally perfect from start to finish."
Princess Mia faces grown-up problems in this adult installment of Cabot's popular Princess Diaries series (Forever Princess, 2009, etc.).Read full book review >
THE PINCH by Steve Stern
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 2, 2015

"Audacious, hilarious, unabashed fiction."
The Pinch—for many years in the early 20th century a predominantly Jewish section of Memphis—has found its Whitman and its Faulkner in Stern, who's written a stylistically effusive, verbally extravagant novel. 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 >

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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.