Honorees by Year

2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  | 2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007

2017 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

Glory Edim, Well-Read Black Girl
The 2017 Innovator’s Award, which spotlights cutting-edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, will be awarded to Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl, for her work honoring black women writers and creating a vital new space for literary discussion and engagement.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

John Rechy
The 2017 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, which recognizes a writer whose work focuses on the American West, goes to John Rechy, a groundbreaking writer and admired teacher who is considered a pioneer of modern gay and Chicano literature.

The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose

Benjamin Taylor
The 2017 Christopher Isherwood Prize goes to Benjamin Taylor for his moving memoir of one tumultuous year of boyhood in Fort Worth, Texas. Taylor begins with a monumental event — the assassination of JFK in 1963 — to explore the preoccupations of adolescence: how to be a good son, student, brother, and boy. Taylor charmingly renders his first understanding of himself as “different” as he details the growing pains of the nation. The Hue and Cry is more than a memoir: it’s a clear-eyed history, a cultural reflection, an elegy for youth and time itself—accomplished with subtlety, humor, and grace.

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Jenny Zhang, Sour Heart, Lenny / Random House

Finalists
Elif Batuman, The Idiot, Penguin Press
Rachel Khong, Goodbye, Vitamin, Henry Holt and Co.
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties, Graywolf Press
Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling, Riverhead Books

Biography

Winner
Laura Dassow Walls, Henry David Thoreau: A Life, University Of Chicago Press

Finalists
Ron Chernow, Grant, Penguin Press
Jonathan Eig, Ali: A Life, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
John A. Farrell, Richard Nixon: The Life, Doubleday
Adam Federman, Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray, Chelsea Green Publishing

Current Interest

Winner
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, Viking

Finalists
Ta-Nehisi Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, One World
James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Lauren Markham, The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, Crown
Rick Wartzman, The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America, Public Affairs

Fiction

Winner
Mohsin Hamid, Exit West, Riverhead Books

Finalists
Victor LaValle, The Changeling, Spiegel & Grau
Claire Messud, The Burning Girl, W. W. Norton & Company
Vivek Shanbhag, Srinath Perur (translator), Ghachar Ghochar, Penguin Books
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing, Scribner

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Leslie Stein, Present, Drawn and Quarterly

Finalists
Gabrielle Bell, Everything is Flammable, Uncivilized Books
Manuele Fior, Translated by Jamie Richards, The Interview, Fantagraphics
Connor Willumsen, Anti-Gone, Koyama Press
Yuichi Yokoyama, Iceland, Retrofit Comics/Big Planet Comics

History

Winner
Dan Egan, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, W. W. Norton & Company

Finalists
Stephen Alford, London’s Triumph: Merchants, Adventurers, and Money in Shakespeare’s City, Bloomsbury USA
Mark Bowden, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam, Atlantic Monthly Press
Frances Fitzgerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, Simon & Schuster
Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Liveright/w. w. Norton & Company

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Joyce Carol Oates, A Book of American Martyrs, Ecco

Finalists
Michael Connelly, The Late Show, Little, Brown and Company
Paul La Farge, The Night Ocean, Penguin Press
Attica Locke, Bluebird, Bluebird, Mulholland Books
Ivy Pochoda, Wonder Valley, Ecco

Poetry

Winner
Patricia Smith, Incendiary Art: Poems, TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press

Finalists
Alessandra Lynch, Daylily Called it A Dangerous Moment, Alice James Books
Shane McCrae, In the Language of my Captor, Wesleyan University Press
Evie Shockley, semiautomatic, Wesleyan University Press
David Wojahn, For the Scribe, University of Pittsburgh Press

Science & Technology

Winner
Robert M. Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Penguin Press

Finalists
Cornelia Dean, Making Sense of Science: Separating Substance from Spin, Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press
Jennifer A. Doudna & Samuel H. Sternberg, A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Max Tegmark, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Knopf
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, Scribner

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Finalists
E. Lockhart, Genuine Fraud, Delacorte Press
Dashka Slater, The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children’s Publishing
Renée Watson, Piecing Me Together, Bloomsbury Children’s Books

2016 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

Ruebén Martinez
Ruebén Martinez, the founder of Libreria Martinez, is the 2016 Innovator’s Award winner in honor of his work promoting books and reading within the Latino-American and Spanish-speaking communities. Martínez’s passion for reading inspired him to open a bookstore in his Santa Ana barbershop in the early 1990s. It quickly became a cornerstone of the community, evolved into a nationally-renowned center of Chicano/Latino literature and art, and lives on today through the Centro Comunitario de Educación – Chapman University’s learning center which houses Martínez’s book collection. Currently a Presidential Fellow of Chapman University, Martínez acts as an ambassador to encourage Latinos to pursue higher education and lifelong learning. A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2004, Martinez continues his bookselling work through his partnership with Hudson Newsstands and bookstores in airports across the country selecting books and working with associates to reach readers nationwide.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Thomas McGuane
Novelist Thomas McGuane is the 2016 Robert Kirsch Award winner which recognizes the body of work of a writer of the American West. McGuane’s 10 novels range from 92 In the Shade (A National Book Award finalist) to 2010’s Driving on the Rim. In addition to his three short story collections of which “Crow Fair” is his most recent, McGuane has written several screenplays including 1976’s Missouri Breaks which was made into a film starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. Like much of his fiction, his essay collections are devoted to his life in the outdoors. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as both The National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame and the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Nathan Hill / The Nix, Alfred A. Knopf

Finalists
Sara Baume, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Mark Beauregard, The Whale: A Love Story, Viking
Idra Novey, Ways to Disappear, Little, Brown and Company
Rebecca Schiff, The Bed Moved, Alfred A. Knopf

Biography

Winner
Volker Ullrich / Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, Alfred A. Knopf

Finalists
Claire Harman, Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart, Alfred A. Knopf
Ross King, Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, Bloomsbury USA
James McBride, Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for the Real James Brown, Spiegel & Grau
Frances Wilson, Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose

Winner
Wesley Lowery / They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement, Little, Brown and Company

Finalists
Tash Aw, The Face: Strangers on a Pier, Restless Books
Hisham Matar, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, Random House
Scholastique Mukasonga (Author), Jordan Stump (Translator), Cockroaches, Archipelago Books
Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn: A Novel, Amistad/HarperCollins

Current Interest

Winner
Svetlana Alexievich (Author), Bela Shayevich (Translator) / Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, Random House

Finalists
Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Crown
Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Doubleday
Ben Rawlence, City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp, Picador
Robert F. Worth, A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Fiction

Winner
Adam Haslett / Imagine Me Gone, Little, Brown and Company

Finalists
Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Lydia Millet, Sweet Lamb of Heaven, W. W. Norton and Company
Zadie Smith, Swing Time, Penguin Press
Dana Spiotta, Innocents and Others, Scribner

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Nick Drnaso / Beverly, Drawn & Quarterly

Finalists
Anna Haifisch, The Artist, Breakdown Press LTD
Patrick Kyle, Don’t Come in Here, Koyama Press
Rokudenashiko, What Is Obscenity: The Story of a Good for Nothing Artist and Her Pussy, Koyama Press
Jason Shiga, Demon: Volume 1, First Second/Macmillan

History

Winner
Benjamin Madley / An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873, Yale University Press

Finalists
Masha Gessen, Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region, Schocken Books
Adam Hochschild, Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Viking
Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, Pantheon

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Bill Beverly / Dodgers, Crown

Finalists
Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae, Skyhorse Publishing
Emma Cline, The Girls, Random House
Ian McGuire, The North Water, Henry Holt and Co
Thomas Mullen, Darktown, 37 Ink/Atria Books

Poetry

Winner
Rosmarie Waldrop / Gap Gardening: Selected Poems, New Directions

Finalists
Ishion Hutchinson, House of Lords and Commons: Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Phillis Levin, Mr. Memory & Other Poems, Penguin Books
Jane Mead, World of Made and Unmade, Alice James Books
Robyn Schiff, A Woman of Property, Penguin Books

Science & Technology

Winner
Luke Dittrich / Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, Random House

Finalists
Mary Roach, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, W. W. Norton and Company
Sonia Shah, Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Bruce Watson, Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age, Bloomsbury USA
Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, Ecco

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Frances Hardinge / The Lie Tree, Harry N. Abrams

Finalists
Socorro Acioli/ Daniel Hahn (Translator), The Head of the Saint, Delacorte
Julie Berry, The Passion of Dolssa, Viking Books for Young Readers
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, March: Book Three, Top Shelf Productions
Meg Medina, Burn, Baby, Burn, Candlewick

2015 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

James Patterson | Read more
James Patterson has left a singular mark on the literary community through his writing for adults and young people, as well as through his efforts to make books and reading a national priority. His support of libraries, independent bookstores, booksellers, teachers and students is unsurpassed with millions of dollars in grants and scholarships going toward encouraging Americans to read and supporting those who foster reading. A feature film based on his bestselling Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life series is set for release this fall.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Juan Felipe Herrera | Read more
Juan Felipe Herrera’s literary contributions include poetry, prose, young adult novels and children’s literature, and his work in all artistic forms highlights a life dedicated to giving voice to those who are not always heard.

Biography

Winner
Hayden Herrera / Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up
Terry Alford, Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth, Oxford University Press
Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, Jonas Salk: A Life, Oxford University Press
Patrick McGilligan, Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane, HarperCollins
John Norris, Mary McGrory The First Queen of Journalism, Viking

Current Interest

Winner
Sarah Chayes / Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security (W. W. Norton and Company)

Runners Up
Joe Domanick, Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing, Simon & Schuster
Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, Bloomsbury Press
Sandy Tolan, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land, Bloomsbury USA
Stephen Witt, How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy, Viking

Fiction

Winner
Valeria Luiselli, Translated by Christina MacSweeney / The Story of My Teeth (Coffee House Press)

Runners Up
Anne Enright, The Green Road, W. W. Norton and Company
James Hannaham, Delicious Foods, Little, Brown and Company
Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles, Random House
Helen Phillips, Beautiful Bureaucrat, Henry Holt and Co.

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Riad Sattouf / Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir (Metropolitan Books)

Runners Up
Sam Alden, New Construction: Two More Stories, Uncivlized Books
Julian Hanshaw, Tim Ginger, Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing
Maggie Thrash, Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir, Candlewick
Carol Tyler, Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father: A Daughter’s Memoir (You’ll Never Know), Fantagraphics

History

Winner
Dan Ephron / Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel (W. W. Norton and Company)

Runners Up
Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, Liveright/W. W. Norton and Compan
Jonathan M. Bryant, Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope, Liveright/W. W. Norton and Company
David Maraniss, Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story , Simon & Schuster
Mark Molesky, This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason, Alfred A. Knopf

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Don Winslow / The Cartel (Alfred A. Knopf)

Runners Up
Lou Berney, The Long and Faraway Gone, William Morrow
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer, Grove Press
Brian Panowich, Bull Mountain, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Richard Price, The Whites, Henry Holt & Company

Poetry

Winner
Jorie Graham / From the New World: Poems 1976-2014 (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Runners Up
Rick Barot, Chord, Sarabande Books
Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus, Alfred A. Knopf
Fiona Sze-Lorrain, The Ruined Elegance, Princeton University Press
Jean Valentine, Shirt in Heaven, Copper Canyon Press

Science & Technology

Winner
Andrea Wulf / The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World (Alfred A. Knopf)

Runners Up
John Markoff, Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots, Ecco/HarperCollins
David J. Morris, The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Beth Shapiro, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction, Princeton University Press
Jonathan Waldman, Rust: The Longest War, Simon & Schuster

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Chigozie Obioma / The Fishermen (Little, Brown and Company)

Runners Up
Sarah Gerard, Binary Star, Two Dollar Radio
Ben Metcalf, Against the Country, Random House
Sara Novic, Girl at War, Random House
Andrew Roe, The Miracle Girl, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Marilyn Nelson / My Seneca Village (namelos)

Runners Up
Don Brown, Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Jason Reynolds, The Boy in the Black Suit, Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Laura Amy Schlitz, The Hired Girl, Candlewick
Steve Sheinkin, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, Roaring Brook Press

2014 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

LeVar Burton Read more | Watch Video

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

TC Boyle Read more | Watch Video

Biography

Winner
Andrew Roberts / Napoleon: A Life (Viking)

Runners Up
Adam Begley, Updike, HarperCollins
Robert M. Dowling, Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts, Yale University Press
Kirstin Downey, Isabella: The Warrior Queen, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Volume 1 – Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928, The Penguin Press

Current Interest

Winner
Jeff Hobbs / “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League” (Scribner)

Runners Up
Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Metropolitan Books
Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Spiegel & Grau
Matt Taibbi, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, Spiegel & Grau
Héctor Tobar, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Fiction

Winner
Siri Hustvedt / The Blazing World (Simon & Schuster)

Runners Up
Donald Antrim, The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Jesse Ball, Silence Once Begun, Pantheon
Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation, Knopf
Helen Oyeyemi, Boy, Snow, Bird, Riverhead

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Jaime Hernandez / The Love Bunglers (Fantagraphics Books)

Runners Up
Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? A Memoir, Bloomsbury
Mana Neyestani, An Iranian Metamorphosis, Uncivilized Books
Olivier Schrauwen, Arséne Schrauwen, Fantagraphics
Mariko Tamaki, This One Summer, First Second
Jillian Tamaki, This One Summer, First Second

History

Winner
Adam Tooze / The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 (Viking)

Runners Up
Judith Flanders, The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London, Thomas Dunne Books
Mark Harris, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, The Penguin Press
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Simon & Schuster
Lawrence Wright, Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, Knopf

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Tom Bouman / Dry Bones in the Valley (W. W. Norton & Company)

Runners Up
Peter Heller, The Painter, Knopf
Laura Lippman, After I’m Gone, William Morrow
Shawn Lawrence Otto, Sins of Our Fathers, Milkweed Editions
Peter Swanson, The Girl With a Clock for a Heart, William Morrow

Poetry

Winner
Claudia Rankine / Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

Runners Up
Gillian Conoley, Peace, Omnidawn
Katie Ford, Blood Lyrics: Poem, Graywolf Press
Peter Gizzi, In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011, Wesleyan University Press
Fred Moten, The Feel Trio, Letter Machine Editions

Science & Technology

Winner
Elizabeth Kolbert / The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt & Co.)

Runners Up
Michael Benson, Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time, Abrams
Martin J. Blaser, MD, Missing Microbes, How the overuse of antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues, Henry Holt and Co.
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, Simon & Schuster
Christian Rudder, Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking), Crown Publishers

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Valeria Luiselli (translated by Christina MacSweeney) / Faces in the Crowd (Coffee House Press)

Runners Up
Diane Cook, Man V. Nature: Stories, HarperCollins
John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, Coffee House Press
David James Poissant, The Heaven of Animals: Stories, Simon & Schuster

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Candace Fleming / The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia (Schwartz & Wade/Random House Children’s)

Runners Up
Paul Fleischman, Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines, Candlewick
E.K. Johnston, The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing
Andrew Smith, Grasshopper Jungle, Dutton Children’s Books
Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming, Nancy Paulsen Books

2013 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

John Green Read more | Watch video ›
The recipient of the 2013 Innovator’s Award, which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art, is young adult writer and activist John Green. Green’s best-selling novels have garnered numerous awards and he has been at the forefront of experimenting with social media and technology, expanding how people in and out of the literary world use these mediums to inspire and teach others.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Susan Straight Read more | Watch video ›
The recipient of the 2013 Robert Kirsch Award is Riverside native Susan Straight. Straight is a Southern California original, and a tireless supporter, and creator, of our literary culture. Her award-winning novels and short stories have opened up not just California literature but American literature to the Inland Empire, and to the often-neglected voices of the people there. Through her work as a teacher, she has inspired and mentored a new generation of California writers.

Biography

Winner
Marie Arana / Bolivar: American Liberator, (Simon & Schuster)

Runners Up
A. Scott Berg, Wilson, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Benita Eisler, The Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin, Artist and Showman, W. W. Norton and Company
Edna O’Brien, Country Girl: A Memoir, Little, Brown & Company
Deborah Solomon, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Current Interest

Winner
Sheri Fink / Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, (Crown)

Runners Up
David Finkel, Thank You for Your Service, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy, The Penguin Press
Barry Siegel, Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom, Henry Holt and Company
Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, Knopf

Fiction

Winner
Ruth Ozeki / A Tale for the Time Being, (Viking)

Runners Up
Percival Everett, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, Graywolf Press
Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs, Knopf
Susan Steinberg, Spectacle: Stories, Graywolf Press
Daniel Woodrell, The Maid’s Version: A Novel, Little, Brown & Company

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner
Ulli Lust / Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, (Fantagraphics Books)

Runners Up
David B., Incidents in the Night: Volume 1, Uncivilized Books
Ben Katchor, Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories, Pantheon
Anders Nilsen, The End, Fantagraphics
Joe Sacco, The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, W. W. Norton and Company

History

Winner
Christopher Clark / The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, (HarperCollins)

Runners Up
Richard Breitman & Allan J. Lichtman, FDR and the Jews, Belknap Press of Harvard University
Glenn Frankel, The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, Bloomsbury USA
Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, Simon & Schuster
Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, W. W. Norton and Company

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
J. K. Rowling Writing As Robert Galbraith / The Cuckoo’s Calling, (Mulholland Books/Little, Brown & Company)

Runners Up
Richard Crompton, Hour of the Red God, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Mulholland Books/Little, Brown & Company
John Grisham, Sycamore Row, Doubleday Books
Gene Kerrigan, The Rage, Europa Editions
Ferdinand von Schirach, The Collini Case, Viking

Poetry

Winner
Ron Padgett / Collected Poems, (Coffee House Press)

Runners Up
Joshua Beckman, The Inside of an Apple, Wave Books
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Hello, the Roses, New Directions
Elizabeth Robinson, On Ghosts, Solid Objects
Lynn Xu, Debts & Lessons, Omnidawn

Science & Technology

Winner
Alan Weisman / Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, (Little, Brown & Company)

Runners Up
Matthew D. Lieberman, Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect, Crown
Sally Satel / Scott O. Lilienfeld, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, Basic Books
Virginia Morell, Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures, Crown
Annalee Newitz, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, Doubleday Books

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Maggie Shipstead / Seating Arrangements, (Knopf)

Runners Up
David Abrams / Fobbit, (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic, Inc.)
Kevin P. Keating / The Natural Order of Things, (Aqueous Books)
Lydia Netzer / Shine Shine Shine* (St. Martin’s Press)
Robin Sloan / Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store: A Novel, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

*After the 2012 Book Prize finalists were announced, we became aware that SHINE SHINE SHINE did not meet our criteria for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. However, the judges, who judge both fiction categories, agreed that this title merited finalist status and so it was moved to the Fiction category. Click to go to our fiction category.

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Gene Luen Yang / Boxers & Saints, (First Second/Macmillan)

Runners Up
Elizabeth Knox, Mortal Fire, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl, St. Martin’s Griffin
Joyce Sidman, What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase, Disney-Hyperion

2012 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

Margaret Atwood Read more | Watch video ›

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Kevin Starr Read more | Watch video ›

Biography

Winner

Robert A. Caro / The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Knopf)

Runners Up

H.W. Brands / The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace (Doubleday)

Alice Kessler-Harris / A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman (Bloomsbury Press)

David Nasaw / The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy (Penguin Press)

RJ Smith / The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Gotham Books)

Current Interest

Winner

Katherine Boo / Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House)

Runners Up

Steve Coll / Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (Penguin Press)

Karen Elliott House / On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines – and Future (Knopf)

Jim Sterba / Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds (Crown)

Jake Tapper / The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor (Little, Brown and Company)

Fiction

Winner

Ben Fountain / Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco)

Runners Up

Jami Attenberg / The Middlesteins: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing)

Michael Chabon / Telegraph Avenue (HarperCollins Publishers / Harper)

Lauren Groff / Arcadia (Voice/Hyperion)

Lydia Millet / Magnificence (W.W. Norton & Company)

Lydia Netzer / Shine Shine Shine (St. Martin’s Press)

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner

Sammy Harkham / Everything Together: Collected Stories (PictureBox)

Runners Up

Alison Bechdel / Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Leela Corman / Unterzakhn (Schocken)

Spain Rodriguez / Cruisin’ With the Hound: The Life and Times of Fred Toote (Fantagraphics)

Chris Ware / Building Stories (Pantheon)

History

Winner

Fergus M. Bordewich / America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union (Simon & Schuster)

Runners Up

John Barry / Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty (Viking)

George Black / Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone (St. Martin’s Press)

Amy S. Greenberg / A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (Knopf)

Geoffrey Kabaservice / Rule & Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party from Eisenhower to the Tea Party (Oxford University Press)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner

Tana French / Broken Harbor (Viking)

Runners Up

Nick Harkaway / Angelmaker (Knopf)

Fuminori Nakamura / The Thief (Soho Crime)

Chris Pavone / The Expats (Crown)

Ariel S. Winter / The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime)

Poetry

Winner

Louise Glück / Poems 1962-2012 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up

Rowan Ricardo Phillips / The Ground: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

D. A. Powell / Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys: Poems (Graywolf Press)

Bin Ramke / Aerial (Omnidawn)

Cole Swensen / Gravesend (New California Poetry) (University of California Press)

Science & Technology

Winner

Florence Williams / Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (W.W. Norton & Company)

Runners Up

Susan Cain / Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Crown)

George Dyson / Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe (Pantheon)

Jonathan Gottschall / The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Nate Silver / The Signal and the Noise: Why so Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t (Penguin Press)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner

Maggie Shipstead / Seating Arrangements (Knopf)

Runners Up

David Abrams / Fobbit (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic, Inc.)

Kevin P. Keating / The Natural Order of Things (Aqueous Books)

Lydia Netzer / Shine Shine Shine*

After the 2012 Book Prize finalists were announced, we became aware that SHINE SHINE SHINE did not meet our criteria for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. However, the judges, who judge both fiction categories, agreed that this title merited finalist status and so it was moved to the Fiction category. Click to go to our fiction category.

(St. Martin’s Press)

Robin Sloan / Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Young Adult Literature

Winner

A.S. King / Ask the Passengers (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)

Runners Up

Paolo Bacigalupi / The Drowned Cities (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)

Martine Leavitt / My Book of Life by Angel (Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers)

Matthew Quick / Boy 21 (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers)

Elizabeth Wein / Code Name Verity (Disney-Hyperion)

2011 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

Figment Read more

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Rudolfo Anaya Read more

Biography

Winner
John A. Farrell / Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned (Doubleday)

Runners Up
Manning Marable / Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Viking)
Robert K. Massie / Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Random House)
Alexandra Styron / Reading My Father: A Memoir (Scribner)
Mark Whitaker / My Long Trip Home (Simon & Schuster)

Current Interest

Winner
Daniel Kahneman / Thinking Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up
David Bellos / Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ioan Grillo / El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency (Bloomsbury Press)
Anatol Lieven / Pakistan: A Hard Country (PublicAffairs)
Seth Mnookin / The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear (Simon & Schuster)

Fiction

Winner
Alex Shakar / Luminarium (SoHo Press)

Runners Up
Joseph O’Connor / Ghost Light (Frances Coady Book/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Michael Ondaatje / The Cat’s Table (Knopf)
Julie Otsuka / The Buddha in the Attic (Knopf)
Edith Pearlman / Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories (Lookout Books/University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Graphic Novel

Winner
Carla Speed McNeil / Finder: Voice (Dark Horse)

Runners Up
Joseph Lambert / I Will Bite You! And Other Stories (Secret Acres)
Dave McKean / Celluloid (Fantagraphics)
Jim Woodring / Congress of the Animals (Fantagraphics)
Yuichi Yokoyama / Garden (PictureBox)

History

Winner
Richard White / Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (W.W. Norton & Company)

Runners Up
Javier Cercas / The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination (Bloomsbury Press)
Adam Goodheart / 1861: The Civil War Awakening (Knopf)
Adam Hochschild / To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Rachel Polonsky / Molotov’s Magic Lantern: A Journey in Russian History (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Stephen King / 11/22/1963 (Scribner)

Runners Up
Kate Atkinson / Started Early, Took My Dog (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)
Eoin Colfer / Plugged (Overlook Press)
A.D. Miller / Snowdrops: A Novel (Doubleday)
Denise Mina / The End of Wasp Season (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)

Poetry

Winner
Carl Phillips / Double Shadow: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up
Jim Harrison / Songs of Unreason (Copper Canyon Press)
Dawn Lundy Martin / Discipline (Nightboat Books)
Linda Norton / The Public Gardens (Pressed Wafer)
Bruce Smith / Devotions (University of Chicago Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Sylvia Nasar / Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (Simon & Schuster)

Runners Up
Joel Achenbach / A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher (Simon & Schuster)
James Gleick / The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (Pantheon)
Mara Hvistendahl / Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men (PublicAffairs)
Holly Tucker / Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution (W.W. Norton & Company)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Ismet Prcic / Shards (Grove Press, Black Cat)

Runners Up
Chad Harbach / The Art of Fielding (Little, Brown & Company)
Eleanor Henderson / Ten Thousand Saints (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Ben Lerner / Leaving the Atocha Station (Coffee House Press)
James Wallenstein / The Arriviste (Milkweed Editions)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Pete Hautman / The Big Crunch (Scholastic Press)

Runners Up
Libba Bray / Beauty Queens (Scholastic Press)
Patrick Ness / A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd (Candlewick Press)
Mal Peet / Life: An Exploded Diagram (Candlewick Press)
Maggie Stiefvater / The Scorpio Races (Scholastic Press)

2010 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

Powell’s Books, Portland, Oregon Read more

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Beverly Cleary Read more, (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Biography

Winner
Laura Hillenbrand / Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience & Redemption (Penguin/Random House)

Runners Up
Miranda Carter / George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I (Knopf)
Selina Hastings / The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham (Penguin/Random House)
Christopher Hitchens / Hitch-22: A Memoir (TWELVE/Hachette Book Group)
Edmund Morris / Colonel Roosevelt (Penguin/Random House)

Current Interest

Winner
Michael Lewis / The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (W. W. Norton & Company)

Runners Up
Jonathan Alter / The Promise: President Obama, Year One (Simon & Schuster)
Sebastian Junger / War (TWELVE/Hachette Book Group)
Joe Nocera & Bethany McLean / All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis (Portfolio/Penguin Group)
Patti Smith / Just Kids (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Fiction

Winner
Jennifer Egan / A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf)

Runners Up
Rick Bass / Nashville Chrome (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Richard Bausch / Something is Out There: Stories (Penguin/Random House)
Jonathan Franzen / Freedom (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Frederick Reiken / Day for Night (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)

Graphic Novel

Winner
Adam Hines / Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One (Adhouse Books)

Runners Up
Dash Shaw / Bodyworld (Pantheon)
Karl Stevens / The Lodger (KSA Publishing)
C. Tyler / You’ll Never Know, Book Two: Collateral Damage (Fantagraphics)
Jim Woodring / Weathercraft (Fantagraphics)

History

Winner
Thomas Powers / The Killing of Crazy Horse (Knopf)

Runners Up
Ron Chernow / Washington: A Life (The Penguin Press)
John W. Dower / Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq (W. W. Norton & Company and The New Press)
Susan Dunn / Roosevelt’s Purge: How FDR Fought To Change the Democratic Party (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
Steven Solomon / Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization (HarperCollins)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner

Tom Franklin / Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (William Morrow)

Runners Up
Tana French / Faithful Place (Viking)
Laura Lippman / I’d Know You Anywhere (William Morrow)
Stuart Neville / Collusion (SoHo Press)
Kelli Stanley / City of Dragons (Minotaur Books/A Thomas Dunne Book)

Poetry

Winner
Maxine Kumin / Where I Live: New & Selected Poems 1990-2010 (W. W. Norton & Company)

Runners Up

Henri Cole / Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 1982-2007 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Yehoshua November / God’s Optimism (Main Street Rag)
Craig Santos Perez / From Unincorporated Territory {Saina} (Omnidawn)
Ed Roberson / To See the Earth Before the End of the World (Wesleyan University Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Oren Harman / The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness (W. W. Norton & Company)

Runners Up
Siddhartha Mukherjee / The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner)
Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway / Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (Bloomsbury USA)
Lauren Redniss / Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout (It Books/HarperCollins)
Rebecca Skloot / The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner

Peter Bognanni / The House of Tomorrow (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)

Runners Up
Leslie Jamison / The Gin Closet (Free Press/Simon & Schuster)
Michael Sledge / The More I Owe You (Counterpoint)
Christine Sneed / Portraits of a Few People I’ve Made Cry: Stories (University of Massachusetts Press)
Tatjana Soli / The Lotus Eaters (St. Martin’s Press)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Megan Whalen Turner / A Conspiracy of Kings (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)

Runners Up
Marc Aronson & Marina Budhos / Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science (Clarion Books)
Stephanie Hemphill / Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins)
Jonathan Stroud / The Ring of Solomon (Disney/Hyperion Books for Children)
Rick Yancey / The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist) (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

2009 Prizes

Innovator’s Award Winner

Dave Eggers Read more
The Innovator’s Award recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, whether in terms of new business models, new technologies or new applications of narrative art.

Dave Eggers has always been an innovator. From his early days at Might Magazine – where he and his partners poked smart fun at the excesses of 1990s culture – to his ongoing work with McSweeney’s, the publishing house he runs in San Francisco, he has shown a refreshing disregard for conventional wisdom, whether it has to do with what he publishes, how he publishes or that he is a publisher at all. To be sure, publishing was not something he needed to do; his first book, the memoir “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” became a bestseller upon its release in 2000 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Were Eggers another kind of writer, this might have been enough for him, but writing is just one of the things he does. In 1998, he founded the literary journal McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern; the success of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” allowed him to turn McSweeney’s into a full-fledged independent press, publishing writers from Stephen Dixon and Robert Coover to Lawrence Weschler, Art Spiegelman and William T. Vollmann. Eggers has not only built an editorial model to support these efforts, but a business model as well. What’s more, in an era when too many in the media seem to want to give up on print altogether, McSweeney’s books, along with their magazines and other publications, are beautiful: elaborately designed, a pleasure to hold and look at, a three-dimensional reading experience in the best sense of the word.

Equally important is Eggers’ involvement in 826 National, which he co-founded in 2002. These eight urban non-profit centers – including two in Los Angeles – are dedicated to fostering literacy in kids 6-18, and work with students on everything from homework to college essays, while encouraging them to produce books and anthologies. More to the point, they offer a place to gather, helping to create communities in which literature is not just important but fun.

Through it all, Dave Eggers continues to function as an inspirational role model, producing his own books – his latest, “Zeitoun,” is a finalist for this year’s Current Interest Book Prize – and other projects, including the screenplay for last year’s film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are.”

He is exactly the kind of person the Innovator’s Award is intended to honor: a forward thinker who is not afraid of print, but also not afraid to look ahead to the future, and who is drawing a new generation of writers and readers to the written word.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Evan S. Connell Read more
Evan S. Connell has been recognized by readers, critics and scholars as an American original, “our most subversive writer,” a compassionate contrarian, the author of “fiction in extremis,” and a “gloriously insidious philosopher of our true heritage.” His novels, short stories, essays and poems range across centuries and continents, focusing sometimes on the great events of history and other times on the secret moments of a private life, and often both at once, but always conjuring up what has been aptly called a kind of “dangerous magic.”

Whether his eye falls on the Crusades, or the battle of Little Big Horn, or the more intimate conflicts that characterize a marriage and a family, Connell brings to bear on all of his subjects a penetrating insight that, as one critic puts it, “flips the known world on its head.” Now living in Santa Fe, he has journeyed in prose and poetry from Kansas City, Missouri, the setting of Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge, perhaps his most celebrated works, to beaches of Carmel and all the way to Uttar Pradesh. In recognition of a distinguished body of work by a writer residing in or writing about the West, the Los Angeles Times presents Evan S. Connell with the 30th Robert Kirsch Award.

Biography

Winner
Linda Gordon / Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Runners Up
Kirstin Downey / The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
Michael Scammell / Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth Century Skeptic (Random House)
Melvin Urofsky / Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (Pantheon)
Kenneth Whyte / The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst (Counterpoint Press)

Current Interest

Winner
Dave Eggers / Zeitoun (McSweeney’s Books)

Runners Up
Dave Cullen / Columbine (TWELVE/Hachette Book Group)
Tracy Kidder / The Strength in What Remains (Random House)
Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn / Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Knopf)
T. R. Reid / The Healing of America: The Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Healthcare (The Penguin Press)

Fiction

Winner
Rafael Yglesias / A Happy Marriage (Scribner)

Runners Up
Jill Ciment / Heroic Measures (Pantheon)
Jane Gardam / The Man in the Wooden Hat (Europa Editions)
Michelle Huneven / Blame (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Kate Walbert / A Short History of Women (Scribner)

Graphic Novel

Winner
David Mazzucchelli / Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)

Runners Up
Gilbert Hernandez / Luba (A Love and Rockets Book) (Fantagraphics Books)
Taiyo Matsumoto / GoGo Monster (VIZ Media)
Bryan Lee O’Malley / Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe (Oni Press)
Joe Sacco / Footnotes in Gaza (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Co., LLC)

History

Winner
Kevin Starr / Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance 1950 – 1963 (Oxford University Press)

Runners Up
Richard Holmes / Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (Pantheon)
Martha A. Sandweiss / Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (The Penguin Press)
Amy Louise Wood / Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (University of North Carolina Press)
Gordon S. Wood / Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic 1789 – 1815 (Oxford University Press)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Stuart Neville / The Ghosts of Belfast (SOHO Press)

Runners Up
Megan Abbott / Bury Me Deep (Simon & Schuster)
David Ellis / The Hidden Man (Putnam)
Attica Locke / Black Water Rising (HarperCollins)
Val McDermid / A Darker Domain (HarperCollins)

Poetry

Winner
Brenda Hillman / Practical Water (Wesleyan University Press)

Runners Up

Gabrielle Calvocoressi / Apocalyptic Swing (Persea Books)
Amy Gerstler / Dearest Creature (Penguin Poets)
Tom Healy / What the Right Hand Knows (Four Way Books)
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon / }Open Interval{ (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Graham Farmelo / The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom (Basic Books/Perseus Book Group)

Runners Up
Marcia Bartusiak / The Day We Found the Universe (Pantheon)
Bill Streever / Cold: Adventures in the Worlds’ Frozen Places (Little, Brown & Company)
Richard Wrangham / Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human (Basic Books/Perseus Book Group)
Carol Kaesuk Yoon / Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science (W.W. Norton & Co)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Philipp Meyer / American Rust (Spiegel & Grau)

Runners Up
Petina Gappah / An Elegy for Easterly (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Paul Harding / Tinkers (Bellevue Literary Press)
Daniyal Mueenuddin / In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Wells Tower / Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Elizabeth Partridge / Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary (Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Group)

Runners Up
James Cross Giblin / The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Frances Hardinge / The Lost Conspiracy (HarperCollins)
Deborah Heiligman / Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
Shaun Tan / Tales from Outer Suburbia (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)

2008 Prizes

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Robert Alter

Biography

Winner
Paula J. Giddings / Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching (Amistad/HarperCollins)

Runners Up
H.W. Brands / A Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Doubleday)
Ernest Freeberg / Democracy’s Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent (Harvard University Press)
Jon Meacham / American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (Random House)
Jackie Wullschlager / Chagall: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf)

Current Interest

Winner
Barton Gellman / Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (Penguin Press)

Runners Up
Steve Coll / The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (The Penguin Press)
Dexter Filkins / The Forever War (Knopf)
Jane Mayer / The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday)
Jill Bolte Taylor / My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (Viking)

Fiction

Winner
Marilynne Robinson / Home (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up
Sebastian Barry / The Secret Scripture (Viking)
Richard Price / Lush Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Joan Silber / The Size of the World (W. W. Norton)
Marisa Silver / The God of War (Simon & Schuster)

History

Winner
Mark Mazower / Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe (The Penguin Press)

Runners Up
Michael Dobbs / One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War (Alfred A. Knopf)
Drew Gilpin Faust / This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf)
Thomas J. Sugrue / Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (Random House)
Rick Wartzman / Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (PublicAffairs)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Michael Koryta / Envy the Night (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Runners Up
Colin Harrison / The Finder (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Simon Lewis / Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel (Scribner)
Nina Revoyr / The Age of Dreaming (Akashic Books)
Tom Rob Smith / Child 44 (Grand Central Publishing)

Poetry

Winner
Frank Bidart / Watching the Spring Festival: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up
Jorie Graham / Sea Change: Poems (Ecco)
Marie Howe / The Kingdom of Ordinary Time: Poems (W.W. Norton)
Cole Swensen / Ours (University of California Press)
Connie Voisine / Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream (University of Chicago Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Leonard Susskind / The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics (Little, Brown and Co.)

Runners Up
Avery Gilbert / What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life (Crown Publishing)
Kenneth R. Miller / Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul (Viking)
Martin J.S. Rudwick / Worlds Before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform (University of Chicago Press)
Carl Zimmer / Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life (Pantheon)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Zoë Ferraris / Finding Nouf (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Runners Up
Uwem Akpan / Say You’re One of Them (Little, Brown and Co.)
Sadie Jones / The Outcast (HarperCollins)
Roma Tearne / Mosquito (Europa Editions)
David Wroblewski / The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Ecco)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Terry Pratchett / Nation (HarperCollins)

Runners Up
Candace Fleming / The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary (Schwartz & Wade/Random House Children’s Books)
Neil Gaiman / The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins)
Oscar Hijuelos / Dark Dude (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
Nate Powell / Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf Productions)

2007 Prizes

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Maxine Hong Kingston

Biography

Winner
Simon Sebag Montefiore / Young Stalin (Alfred A. Knopf)

Runners Up
Nancy Isenberg / Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (Viking)
Tim Jeal / Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press)
Robert Morgan / Boone: A Biography (A Shannon Ravenel Book/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
Michael J. Neufeld / Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War (Alfred A. Knopf)

Current Interest

Winner
Elizabeth D. Samet / Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Runners Up
Ishmael Beah / A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Tom Bissell / The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (Pantheon)
Ronald Brownstein / The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America (The Penguin Press)
Naomi Klein / The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company)

Fiction

Winner
Andrew O’Hagan / Be Near Me (Harcourt)

Runners Up
Junot Díaz / The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books)
Stewart O’Nan / Last Night at the Lobster (Viking)
Per Petterson / Out Stealing Horses: A Novel (Graywolf Press)
Marianne Wiggins / The Shadow Catcher: A Novel (Simon & Schuster)

History

Winner
Tim Weiner / Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday)

Runners Up
David A Bell / The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (Houghton Mifflin)
Margaret Macmillan / Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World (Random House)
Andrew Nagorski / The Greatest Battle: Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow that Changed the Course of World War II (Simon and Schuster)
Lynne Olson / Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Mystery / Thriller

Winner
Karin Fossum {Translated by Charlotte Barslund} / The Indian Bride (Harcourt)

Runners UpBenjamin Black / Christine Falls: A Novel (Henry Holt and Company)
Åke Edwardson / Frozen Tracks: An Inspector Erik Winter Novel (Viking)
Tana French / In the Woods (Viking)
Jan Costin Wagner {Translated by John Brownjohn} / Ice Moon (Harcourt)

Poetry

Winner
Stanley Plumly / Old Heart: Poems (W.W. Norton)

Runners Up
Marvin Bell / Mars Being Red (Copper Canyon Press)
Elaine Equi / Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press)
Albert Goldbarth / The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 (Graywolf Press)
Jean Valentine / Little Boat (Wesleyan University Press)

Science & Technology

Winner
Douglas Hofstadter / I Am A Strange Loop (Basic Books)

Runners Up
James L. and Carol Grant Gould / Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence (Basic Books)
Christine Kenneally / The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language (Viking)
Daniel Lord Smail / On Deep History and the Brain (University of California Press)
Gino Segrè / Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics (Viking)

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner
Dinaw Mengestu / The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead Books)

Runners Up
Antonia Arslan {Translated by Geoffrey Brock} / Skylark Farm (Alfred A. Knopf)
Rebecca Curtis / Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money (Harper Perennial)
Pamela Erens / The Understory (Ironweed Press)
Ellen Litman / The Last Chicken in America: A Novel in Stories (W.W. Norton)

Young Adult Literature

Winner
Philip Reeve / A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles) (Eos Books/HarperCollins)

Runners Up
Sherman Alexie / The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown Young Readers)
Geraldine McCaughrean / The White Darkness (HarperTeen)
Walter Dean Myers / What They Found: Love on 145th Street (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House)
Kenneth Oppel / Darkwing (Eos Books/HarperCollins)