2016 Nominees: nonfiction

Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Impressively authoritative and thoughtfully composed."
A historian reconsiders America's most notorious prison riot. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: March 15, 2016

"Abrams weaves a compelling tale about a transformational era in the NBA that also speaks to the sometimes-desperate pursuit of sporting stardom."
How teenage basketball stars transformed the NBA. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Profoundly significant literature as history."
A lively, deeply moving cacophony of Russian voices for whom the Soviet era was as essential as their nature. Read full book review >
Vets For Vets by Gerald Alpern
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 5, 2016

"A compassionate and eye-opening approach to healing mentally and emotionally wounded soldiers."
A revolutionary look at methods to treat veterans in distress. Read full book review >
CRUSH by Cathy Alter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 5, 2016

"The seemingly lightweight premise of an anthology built around celebrity crushes yields an outstanding selection of poignant and thought-provoking stories."
A few dozen writers recall their childhood infatuations with celebrated media stars or iconic characters (literary or animated) and how these crushes influenced their future lives. Read full book review >
THE CONSTITUTION TODAY by Akhil Reed Amar
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Bringing an unusually informed and cool head to the tumult accompanying unfolding events, Amar performs a valuable service for his fellow citizens."
From a constitutional law expert, 20 years' worth of essays on controversial issues that have dominated the headlines. Read full book review >
THIS OLD MAN by Roger Angell
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"As this ebullient and eloquent collection amply shows, Angell can deftly touch that reader, on whom he bestows this lovely gift."
A miscellany of memorable prose. Read full book review >
Walking the Llano by Shelley Armitage
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"Both an intensely lyrical and intimate scrapbook of familial history and a uniquely sublime travelogue of the American Southwestern landscape."
A debut memoir delivers a meditation on a writer's Texas Panhandle homeland. Read full book review >
JEAN COCTEAU by Claude Arnaud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Arnaud's biography provides a useful corrective and will inspire renewed interest in Cocteau's work."
The first substantial life of the French surrealist writer and artist to appear in English since 1970. Read full book review >
HERDING HEMINGWAY'S CATS by Kat Arney
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 1, 2016

"A robust, bouncy, pellucid introduction to DNA and genetics."
A survey of recent research and thinking on genes. Read full book review >
THE FAMILY TOOTH by Ellis Avery
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

"
A well-wrought memoir that turns simple observations and memories into powerful illustrations of grief and illness.
"
A writer recounts the emotions and memories of losing her mother and battling 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 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.