2015 Nominees: nonfiction

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"This moving, potent testament might have been titled 'Black Lives Matter.' Or: 'An American Tragedy.'"
The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Read full book review >
KEEPING AN EYE OPEN by Julian Barnes
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Barnes knows that one of the immeasurable pleasures of art is its capacity to approach us from unexpected angles and excite our senses of wonder. The same may be said of his scholarly and astute yet accessible and exciting essays."
English novelist Barnes (Levels of Life, 2013, etc.) focuses his analytical prowess on significant artists and their oeuvres, opening fresh vistas to readers—and viewers. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF LEAR by James Shapiro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Shapiro's discoveries of long-lost sources and missed connections make this a fascinating tale. His well-written, scholarly exploration will stand as an influential work that is a joy to read."
Shakespearean scholar Shapiro (English/Columbia Univ.; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, 2010, etc.) links the tumultuous events of 1605 and 1606 to three of the Bard's greatest works.Read full book review >
DEEP SOUTH by Paul Theroux
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"An epically compelling travel memoir."
An acclaimed travel writer and novelist's engrossing account of his journey through the Deep South. Read full book review >
HENRY CLAY by Harlow Giles Unger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"In this lucid, exemplary biography, Unger focuses on not just Clay, but also on the formation of the early republic, a time too little studied today. An excellent introduction to a turbulent era."
A comprehensive biography of the statesman whom Abraham Lincoln called "the ideal politician." Read full book review >
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF PRIMO LEVI by Primo Levi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 28, 2015

"A laudable, monumental effort to gather the work of a crucial writer of the 20th century in one voluminous package."
A publishing production years in the making rounds up all of the remarkably diverse works of a writer known up to now, in English, at least, principally as a writer of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
CHILLED by Tom Jackson
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"There's much to wonder at in Jackson's captivating book."
The lively history of refrigeration from British science writer Jackson (Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
THE CONQUERING TIDE by Ian W. Toll
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 21, 2015

"Just as well-researched and -written as the first volume, this story of how air and submarine power replaced the Navy's reliance on battleships is an education for all and an enjoyable read in the bargain."
The second volume of naval historian Toll's Pacific War trilogy (Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific: 1941-1942, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
A STRANGE BUSINESS by James Hamilton
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A fascinating, consistently entertaining exploration into the exploding business of 19th-century art."
A noted historian weaves a brilliantly colorful tapestry. Read full book review >
THE CRIME AND THE SILENCE by Anna Bikont
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Bikont's fearless research—she even confronted the brothers known to have led the Jedwabne murders—makes this a fantastic book. It was first published in Poland in 2004, and the European Book Prize it won in 2011 (for the French version) should be only the first of many awards for this significant work."
Polish journalist Bikont (editor: And I Still See Their Faces: Images of Polish Jews, 1996) delivers a daring exposure of the crimes of her countrymen in the first week of July 1941.Read full book review >
PAID FOR by Rachel Moran
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Moran's thoughtful, highly readable, and provocative treatise shines a necessary light on a dark and underdiscussed topic."
Leaving her Dublin home and dysfunctional family at 14, Moran became homeless before she turned to prostitution to survive. Her stirring memoir chronicles her seven-year journey on the streets and in the brothels and examines the costs to society and her soul. Read full book review >
MYSTERIES OF THE MALL by Witold Rybczynski
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A superb book for those interested in architectural history, written in an easygoing style by a man with encyclopedic knowledge and an obvious great love for building."
In this illuminating collection of essays, Rybczynski (Emeritus, Architecture/Univ. of Pennsylvania; How Architecture Works, 2013, etc.) documents the wide-ranging effects of the men who built America in the 20th century.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.