2017 Nominees: nonfiction

Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A highly disquieting but important investigation of one of the most influential subcultures in American higher education."
A chilling exposé of American fraternity life. Read full book review >
NOMADLAND by Jessica  Bruder
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Engaging, highly relevant immersion journalism."
Journalist Bruder (Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man, 2007) expands her remarkable cover story for Harper's into a book about low-income Americans eking out a living while driving from locale to locale for seasonal employment. Read full book review >
ORDERS TO KILL by Amy Knight
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"A vivid, chilling portrait of a Russia grown 'scary and unpredictable.'"
A scathing indictment of Vladimir Putin's "police state" that offers compelling evidence of his absolute suppression of any opposition or exposure of the state's corruption. Read full book review >
ALONE by Michael Korda
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"An excellent revisitation of a critically important set of battles that, once a byword for courage, have faded in memory."
A swiftly paced, illuminating account of events at the opening of World War II in Europe, recounting "a military defeat with a happy ending." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"An exceptional introduction to the Templars."
An up-close look at the legendary band of Crusaders. Read full book review >
ONE LONG NIGHT by Andrea Pitzer
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"A potent, powerful history of cruelty and dehumanization."
Dispelling the assumption that concentration camps began and ended in Nazi Germany. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Fans of true crime and readers curious about the inner workings of Mexican drug cartels should enjoy this well-researched story. Though different in execution, this book pairs nicely with Joe Tone's Bones, which covers the same subject."
Two FBI agents work to take down members of a drug cartel wrapped up with quarter horse racing in Texas. Read full book review >
NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Wiesel's memoir, first published in English in 1960, has emerged as a classic work of literature from that darkest of eras, and it deserves to be read and reread for decades to come."
A reissue of Wiesel's (Open Heart, 2012, etc.) foundational, exemplary memoir of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
THE GREAT SHIFT by James L. Kugel
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Biblical exegesis at its best: a brilliant and sensitive reading of ancient texts, all with an eye to making them meaningful to our time by making sense of what they meant in their own."
An inquiry into how the contemporaries of Solomon and Sheba viewed the presence of the deity and why the reality of that highly personal divine/mortal relationship changed over time. Read full book review >
ISTANBUL by Bettany Hughes
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A panoramic cultural history of a fascinating place."
A deeply researched biography of a legendary city, beginning in prehistory. Read full book review >
AN ODYSSEY by Daniel Mendelsohn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A well-told story that underscores the power of storytelling."
An account of the lessons learned by a son and his father as they study the Greek epic together. Read full book review >
SPOILER ALERT by Michael  Ausiello
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A heartbreaking memoir infused with dark humor and composed with true love."
A veteran entertainment journalist shares the bittersweet story of his relationship with his husband and his tragic death from cancer. 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 Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 2, 2017, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.