L.A. Times Book Prizes

Winners announcement

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are dedicated to discovering new voices and celebrating the highest quality of writing across the spectrum of book publishing. This year’s ceremony will mark 42 years of recognizing literary achievement. The event will be hosted by Julia Turner, Managing Editor of Arts and Entertainment, and feature remarks by Executive Editor Kevin Merida, and Books Editor, Boris Kachka, among many others. Stay tuned for more details!

Tickets on sale March 16, 2022!
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Jackie Polzin - Brood: A Novel

Brood: A Novel

Jackie Polzin



  • Assembly by Natasha Brown
  • The Recent East by Thomas Grattan
  • My Monticello: Fiction by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
  • When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut Translated
    by Adrian Nathan West
Paul Auster - Burning Boy: The Life and Work of Stephen Crane

Burning Boy: The Life and Work of Stephen Crane

Paul Auster

Henry Holt & Company


  • Competing with Idiots: Herman and Joe Mankiewicz, a Dual Portrait by
    Nick Davis
  • All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American
    Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler by Rebecca
  • Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris
  • The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the
    Forging of American Science by John Tresch
Real Estate: A Living Autobiography - Christopher Isherwood Prize 2021

Real Estate: A Living Autobiography

Sponsored by the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, this award encompasses
fiction, travel writing, memoir and diary and honors exceptional work.
Deborah Levy is the 2021 winner for
Real Estate: A Living Autobiography. The third in a series,Real Estate
breathes deep on its own, said the judges in their comments. Levy
gorgeously wrestles with place, people, art, and work to create a funny,
wise, and affecting self-portrait of a person much in the middle of
discovering who she was, is, and hopes to be.

The Cristopher Isherwood Foundation Logo

Adam Schiff - Midnight In Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could

Midnight In Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still

Adam Schiff

Random House


  • Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City by
    Andrea Elliott
  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper
    Together by Heather McGhee
  • Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass
    Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller
  • Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury by Evan Osnos
Véronique Tadjo - In the Company of Men

In the Company of Men

Véronique Tadjo

Other Press


  • The Dangers of Smoking In Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez Translated
    by Megan McDowell
  • American Estrangement: Stories by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
  • I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: A Novel by Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Harrow: A Novel by Joy Williams
R. Kikuo Johnson - No One Else

No One Else

R. Kikuo Johnson



  • Heaven No Hell by Michael DeForge
  • The Waiting by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim Translated by Janet Hong
  • Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto & Ann Xu (Illustrator)
  • Stone Fruit by Lee Lai
Ada Ferrer - Cuba: An American History

Cuba: An American History

Ada Ferrer



  • Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance by Mia Bay
  • The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics by Mae Ngai
  • African Europeans: An Untold History by Olivette Otele
  • I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land by Alaina
    E. Roberts
Reginald Dwayne Betts / Freedom Reads - Innovator’s Award 2021

Reginald Dwayne Betts / Freedom Reads

Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet and activist, is the 2021 winner of the
Innovator’s Award for his work with Freedom Reads. Betts has written
powerfully about the role of books and reading in navigating his own
prison experience. In its mission to bring books directly into the lives
of the incarcerated, Freedom Reads offers readers a gateway to the
transformative power of literature.

Megan Abbott - The Turnout: A Novel

The Turnout: A Novel

Megan Abbott

G.P. Putnam’s Sons


  • The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly
  • Razorblade Tears: A Novel by S.A. Cosby
  • The Collective: A Novel by Alison Gaylin
  • Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Diane Seuss - frank: sonnets

frank: sonnets

Diane Seuss

Graywolf Press


  • Master Suffering by CM Burroughs
  • Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems by Rita Dove
  • Floaters: Poems by Martín Espada
  • Yellow Rain: Poems by Mai Der Vang
Zen Cho - Spirits Abroad: Stories

Spirits Abroad: Stories

Zen Cho

Small Beer Press


  • Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
  • The Dangers of Smoking In Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez Translated
    by Megan McDowell
  • The World Gives Way: A Novel by Marissa Levien
  • Sorrowland: A Novel by Rivers Solomon

Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction

Luis J. Rodriguez - Robert Kirsch Award 2021

Luis J. Rodriguez

Luis J. Rodriguez is the 42nd winner of the Times’ annual Robert Kirsch
Award for lifetime achievement. The award is given to an author with a
substantial connection to the American West whose contribution to American
letters deserves special recognition. Luis served as the official Poet
Laureate of Los Angeles from 2014 to 2016. Through poetry, memoir, essays,
fiction, and journalism, he has used his craft to advocate for youth lost
to gang life, to promote peace in our communities, and to bring people
together in this chaotic world.

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein - The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and
Dreams Deferred

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Bold Type Books


  • Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a
    Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe
  • Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World by Emma
  • God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for
    Meaning by Meghan O’Gieblyn
  • A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott
Rita Williams-Garcia - A Sitting in St. James

A Sitting in St. James

Rita Williams-Garcia

Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books


  • A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
  • Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the
    People by Kekla Magoon
  • From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the
    Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo
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For more than four decades, the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have recognized outstanding literary works published in fiction, history, poetry, biography, young adult literature, science and technology, science fiction and more. The book prizes are a vital and prestigious part of the annual Festival of Books, and now you can support them through our community fund. Make sure to select “LA Times Book Prizes” as the project when making your donation.

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*Please select Book Prizes as the L.A. Times project in the drop down menu.


Past years awards

2019 award winners

The ceremony begins

Poetry Judge, Cyrus Cassells

Author Jason Reynolds accepting the YA Prize for Long Way Down