Three authors were named winners of the Kirkus Prize — and none of them were Colson Whitehead.
C.E. Morgan won the fiction award for “The Sport of Kings,” about history, race and horse racing in Kentucky, beating out Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award contender “The Underground Railroad.” Other fiction nominees were Amor Towles’ “A Gentleman in Moscow”; Adam Haslett’s “Imagine Me Gone,”; Annie Proulx’s “Barkskins”; Joe Mcginnis Jr.’s “Carousel Court.”
Pulitzer Prize-winner Susan Faludi won for nonfiction for “In the Darkroom,” a memoir about her father’s gender reassignment surgery, while Jason Reynolds won for young people’s literature with “As Brave as You,” about a Brooklyn boy who visits his grandparents in Virginia.
Other nominees in nonfiction: Sarah Bakewell, “At the Existentialist Cafe”; Matthew Desmond, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”; Michael Eric Dyson, “The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America”; Beth Macy, “Truevine” and J.D. Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.”
Young readers’ nominees: Sherman Alexie (writer) and Yuyi Morales (illustrator), “Thunder Boy Jr.”; Ashley Bryan, “Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life”; Russell Freedman, “We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler”; Traci Chee, “The Reader” and Meg Medina, “Burn Baby Burn.”
The award, established in 1933, comes with a $50,000 prize. Last year’s winners were Hanya Yanagihara for fiction (“A Little Life”); Ta-Nehisi Coates for nonfiction (“Between the World and Me”) and Pam Munoz Ryan for young people’s literature (“Echo”).