Book List

2021 Kirkus Prize Finalists

  • FICTION

    THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS

    AUG. 24, 2021

FICTION

THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS

by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

If this isn’t the Great American Novel, it's a mighty attempt at achieving one. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    MY MONTICELLO

    OCT. 5, 2021

  • FICTION

    BOLLA

    JULY 6, 2021

FICTION

BOLLA

by Pajtim Statovci ; translated by David Hackston

An unflinching consideration of the long aftereffects of an affair cut short. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    HARLEM SHUFFLE

    SEPT. 14, 2021

THRILLER & SUSPENSE

HARLEM SHUFFLE

by Colson Whitehead

As one of Whitehead’s characters might say of their creator, When you’re hot, you’re hot. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    HARROW

    SEPT. 14, 2021

FICTION

HARROW

by Joy Williams

An enigmatic, elegant meditation on the end of civilization—if end it truly is. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS

    SEPT. 7, 2021

NONFICTION

PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS

by Dara Horn

A riveting, radical, essential revision of the stories we all know—and some we don't. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    ALL THAT SHE CARRIED

    JUNE 8, 2021

NONFICTION

ALL THAT SHE CARRIED

by Tiya Miles

A strikingly vivid account of the impact of connection on this family and others. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    SEEK YOU

    JULY 6, 2021

GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS

SEEK YOU

by Kristen Radtke ; illustrated by Kristen Radtke

Superb. A rigorous, vulnerable book on a subject that is too often neglected. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    LIGHTNING FLOWERS

    NOV. 10, 2020

NONFICTION

LIGHTNING FLOWERS

by Katherine E. Standefer

An intensely personal and brave accounting of a medical battle and the countless hidden costs of health care. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    HORIZONTAL VERTIGO

    MARCH 23, 2021

NONFICTION

HORIZONTAL VERTIGO

by Juan Villoro ; translated by Alfred MacAdam

An unparalleled portrait of a city in danger of growing past all reasonable limits. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • CHILDREN'S

    UNSPEAKABLE

    FEB. 2, 2021

CHILDREN'S

UNSPEAKABLE

by Carole Boston Weatherford ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

A somber, well-executed addition to the history as the incident approaches its 100th anniversary. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • CHILDREN'S

    LEGACY

    JAN. 5, 2021

CHILDREN'S

LEGACY

by Nikki Grimes

Black girls everywhere, this collection is salve and sanctuary. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • CHILDREN'S

    ALL THIRTEEN

    OCT. 13, 2020

  • TEEN

    THE SURPRISING POWER OF A GOOD DUMPLING

    NOV. 10, 2020

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT

THE SURPRISING POWER OF A GOOD DUMPLING

by Wai Chim

Gritty details lend depth to this viscerally powerful tale of a teen struggling to help her troubled family. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • TEEN

    THE LIFE I'M IN

    JAN. 5, 2021

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT

THE LIFE I'M IN

by Sharon G. Flake

A vivid and important depiction of the struggles of too many teens. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >

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  • The Kirkus Star

    One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks books of exceptional merit.

  • The Kirkus Prize

    The Kirkus Prize is among the richest literary awards in America, awarding $50,000 in three categories annually.

    See the 2020 winners.

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