2016 Nominees: nonfiction

THE ART OF WAITING by Belle Boggs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In her reporting, researching, and sharing, Boggs has performed a public service for those in a similar position—and for anyone interested in the implications of parenthood or in a story well-told and deeply felt."
So much more than a memoir about trying to conceive. Read full book review >
Ruined by Ruth Everhart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Forthright, compassionate, and expertly crafted—everything readers should want from a memoir."
A memoir offers extensive reportage of a sexual assault and a reflection on the author's future course and evolving faith. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 22, 2016

"An elucidating, nuanced study of gender and feminist dynamics perfect for our current political moment."
A timely study of gender and media that reaches back before the present American election to earlier delineations of white manhood and presidential power. Read full book review >
TRYING TO FLOAT by Nicolaia Rips
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"An engaging story with a big heart, written by a young adult whose sharply tuned and often witty observations will appeal to adults and teens alike."
First-time author Rips, a high school senior who lives with her parents in New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel, reflects on her earlier years attending public schools in the city and befriending the many eccentric residents at the hotel. Read full book review >
THE RETURN by Hisham Matar
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"A beautifully written, harrowing story of a son's search for his father and how the impact of inexplicable loss can be unrelenting while the strength of family and cultural ties can ultimately sustain."
Novelist Matar (Anatomy of a Disappearance, 2011, etc.) returns to his native Libya in 2012 following a three-decade exile. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 5, 2016

"Anyone with the slightest curiosity about ancient classics will love this book. Shelve next to the work of Mary Beard."
A grand "traverse of classical civilization." Read full book review >
THE UNKNOWN UNIVERSE by Stuart Clark
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 5, 2016

"Since satisfying results have yet to turn up, Clark's book ends on a cliffhanger, but readers will be entirely pleased with the experience."
Updates on the universe continue to pour from the presses, but since new discoveries appear regularly, cosmology aficionados may read one every few years. They will be wise to read this latest from New Scientist contributor Clark (The Day Without Yesterday, 2013, etc.), a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Read full book review >
BEING A BEAST by Charles Foster
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 21, 2016

"A splendid, vivid contribution to the literature of nature."
In which an English author, tired of the high street, takes to the fens and burrows to learn how animals live. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 21, 2016

"From interviews and archival documents, Lascher creates a seamless narrative of daring and dedication."
Two journalists caught in war and love. Read full book review >
WHITE TRASH by Nancy Isenberg
HISTORY
Released: June 21, 2016

"A riveting thesis supported by staggering research."
A rigorously researched study of the entrenched system of racial classification that dispels many myths about American national identity. Read full book review >
IN THE DARKROOM by Susan Faludi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A moving and penetrating inquiry into manifold struggles for identity, community, and authenticity."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist investigates the "fluidity and binaries" of "modern transsexuality." Read full book review >
SPIRAL by Mark Danner
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"A chilling cautionary tale of Orwellian repercussions."
A somber examination of why the war on terror has stretched over 15 years and appears to have no end in sight. Read full book review >

SEARCH NOMINEES

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, 2015, and October 31, 2016 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2016 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 3, 2016, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.