2019 Book Prize Winners & Finalists

Congratulations to the 2018 Book Prize Honorees!
Tickets for the 39th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes ceremony on April 12th. Tickets on sale now.

Robert Kirsch Award Winner

Terry Tempest Williams

Innovator’s Award Winner

Library of America

2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose

Kiese Laymon, Heavy: An American, Scribner

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Katya Apekina, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, Two Dollar Radio
Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry, Simon & Schuster
R. O. Kwon, The Incendiaries: A Novel, Riverhead Books
Tommy Orange, There There: A Novel, Knopf
Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Heads of the Colored People: Stories, Atria / 37 INK


David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, Simon and Schuster
Seymour M. Hersh, Reporter: A Memoir,  Knopf
Victoria Johnson, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, Liveright/W.W. Norton
Bob Spitz, Reagan: An American Journey, Penguin Press
Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir, Random House

Current Interest

Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border, Riverhead Books
John Carreyrou, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, Knopf
Michael Lewis, The Fifth Risk, W. W. Norton & Company
Michelle Obama, Becoming, Crown Publishing Group
Susan Orlean, The Library Book, Simon & Schuster


Esi Edugyan, Washington Black, Knopf
Abby Geni, The Wildlands: A Novel, Counterpoint
Tayari Jones, An American Marriage: A Novel, Algonquin Books
Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers: A Novel, Viking
Michael Ondaatje, Warlight: A Novel, Knopf

Graphic Novel/Comics

Remy Boydell/ Michelle Perez, The Pervert,  Image Comics
Eleanor Davis, Why Art?, Fantagraphics Books
Aisha Franz, Shit is Real, Drawn and Quarterly
Jérôme Ruillier, The Strange, Drawn and Quarterly
Tillie Walden, On A Sunbeam, First Second


Julia Boyd, Travelers In the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism 1919-1945, Pegasus  Books
J.H. Elliott, Scots & Catalans Union & Disunion, Yale University Press
Ruby Lal, Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, W.W. Norton & Company
Miriam Pawel, The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation , Bloomsbury Publishing
Priya Satia, Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution, Penguin Press

Mystery / Thriller

Megan Abbott, Give Me Your Hand, Little, Brown & Co.
Kent Anderson, Green Sun, Mulholland Books/Little, Brown & Co.
Lou Berney, November Road: A Novel, William Morrow
Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, The Serial Killer: A Novel, Doubleday
Leila Slimani, The Perfect Nanny: A Novel, Penguin Books


Jos Charles, Feeld, Milkweed Editions
Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, Penguin Books
Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost of, Omnidawn
Carl Phillips, Wild is the Wind: Poems, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl: Poems, Graywolf Press

Science & Technology

Mona Hanna-Attisha, What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City , One World
Marcia Bjornerud, Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, Princeton University Press
Rose George, Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood, Metropolitan Books
Eliza Griswold, Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Beth Macy, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, Little, Brown and Company

Young Adult Literature

Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X, HarperTeen
Kelly Loy Gilbert, Picture Us in the Light, Disney-Hyperion
Claire Hartfield, A Few Red Drops:  The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Jarrett Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo!, Graphix/Scholastic Books
Emily X.R. Pan, The Astonishing Color of After: A Novel, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Contact Information


The Los Angeles Times presents the Book Prizes and the Festival of Books as part of its many community programs promoting literacy and education to benefit people across Southern California.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize program has been directed since 1995 by Kenneth Turan, who was Times book editor from 1990 to 1991. He is currently the newspaper’s film critic.

For more information contact the Book Prizes’ administrator, Ann Binney, 800-LA TIMES, ext. 75775