2015 Nominees: fiction

CITY ON FIRE by Garth Risk Hallberg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"The very-damn-good American novel."
Rough-edged mid-1970s New York provides the backdrop for an epic panorama of musicians, writers, and power brokers and the surprising ways they connect. Read full book review >
FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"An intricate plot, perfect title, and a harrowing look at the tie that binds."
An absorbing story of a modern marriage framed in Greek mythology. Read full book review >
LIBERTY BAZAAR by David Chadwick
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"This offbeat, refreshingly absorbing Civil War novel features impeccable research and well-realized main characters."
In Chadwick's (High Seas to Home, 2012) historical novel, an escaped slave girl and a former Confederate general meet in 1863 Liverpool. Read full book review >
DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"An attempt to map how the unbearable is borne, elegantly written and bravely imagined."
Hours before a wedding, a fire kills the bride, the groom, her father, and her mother's boyfriend. Read full book review >
THIS IS YOUR LIFE, HARRIET CHANCE! by Jonathan Evison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Evison writes humanely and with good humor of his characters, who, like the rest of us, muddle through, too often without giving ourselves much of a break. A lovely, forgiving character study that's a pleasure to read."
Insightful, richly entertaining look at a woman who, very late in the game, finds that life remains full of surprises. Read full book review >
GIRL WAITS WITH GUN by Amy Stewart
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"More adventures involving gutsy Constance, quietly determined Sheriff Heath, and a lively cast of supporting characters would be most welcome."
Better known for her nonfiction (The Drunken Botanist, 2013, etc.), Stewart crafts a solid, absorbing novel based on real-life events—though they're unusual enough to seem invented.Read full book review >
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An expansive, brainy, yet inviting novel that leaves few foibles unexplored."
A twisty but controlled epic that merges large and small concerns: loose nukes and absent parents, government surveillance and bad sex, gory murder and fine art. Read full book review >
JIMMY BLUEFEATHER by Kim Heacox
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Old Keb understands it 'used to be hard to live and easy to die. Not anymore.'"
Part quest, part rebirth, Heacox's debut novel spins a story of Alaska's Tlingit people and the land, an old man dying, and a young man learning to live. Read full book review >
A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Women may not be able to have it all, but this novel can."
What happens when a book lover gets caught up in the tech world? Read full book review >
LAST CHANCE LLAMA RANCH by Hilary Fields
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"An engrossing story with a unique cast of characters—both human and animal—written in a unique and confident voice."
A former Olympian finds herself working on a llama ranch in Fields' (Bliss, 2013) charming new novel.Read full book review >
BEST BOY by Eli Gottlieb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 24, 2015

"Gottlieb merits praise for both the endearing eloquence of Todd's voice and a deeply sympathetic parable that speaks to a time when rising autism rates and long-lived elders force many to weigh tough options."
After more than 40 years in an institution, an autistic man acts on his yearning to see his childhood home in this eloquent, sensitive rendering of a marginalized life. Read full book review >
LAST BUS TO WISDOM by Ivan Doig
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A marvelous picaresque showing off the late Doig's ready empathy for all kinds of people and his perennial gift for spinning a great yarn. He will be missed."
Two long-distance bus trips give an 11-year-old new horizons and run a lively gamut through mid-20th-century American life. 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 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.