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2023 Kirkus Prize Finalists

2023 Kirkus Prize Finalists

Written by: Nick Philip, Adult Services Supervisor

The finalists for the 10th Annual Kirkus Prize are here! The Kirkus Prize is presented by Kirkus Reviews, the venerable book review magazine, and awards $50,000 to a work in each of its three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature. Books become eligible by receiving a starred review (or Kirkus Star) from the publication. The finalists nominated this year were published (or will be published) between November 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023, and the winner will be announced on October 11, 2023. Without further ado, here are this year’s finalists, listed below with links to our catalog where available.



Witness by Jamel Brinkley

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

White Cat, Black Dog by Kelly Link

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward


Red Memory: The Afterlives of China’s Cultural Revolution by Tania Branigan

Mr. B: George Balanchine’s 20th Century by Jennifer Homans

How Not To Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind by Clancy Martin

How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair

Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino” by Hector Tobar

Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey From Slavery to Freedom by Ilyon Woo

Young Readers’ Literature:

Together We Swim by Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Joao by a Thread by Roger Mello, translated by Daniel Hahn

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston

The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale by Jon Klassen

America Redux: Visual Stories From Our Dynamic History by Ariel Aberg-Riger

The Eternal Return of Clara Hart by Louise Finch


If you’re interested, you can find the previous winners of the Kirkus Prize below.


2014 Lily King Euphoria
2015 Hanya Yanagihara A Little Life
2016 C. E. Morgan The Sport of Kings
2017 Lesley Nneka Arimah What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
2018 Ling Ma Severance
2019 Colson Whitehead The Nickel Boys
2020 Raven Leilani Luster
2021 Joy Williams Harrow
2022 Hernan Diaz Trust


2014 Roz Chast Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
2015 Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me
2016 Susan Faludi In the Darkroom
2017 Jack E. Davis The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea
2018 Rebecca Solnit Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)
2019 Saeed Jones How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir
2020 Mychal Denzel Smith Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream
2021 Brian Broome Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir
2022 Tanais In Sensorium

Young Readers’ Literature:

2014 Kate Samworth Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual
2015 Pam Muñoz Ryan; illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova Echo
2016 Jason Reynolds As Brave as You
2017 Cherie Dimaline The Marrow Thieves
2018 Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
2019 Jerry Craft; colored by Jim Callahan New Kid
2020 Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James I Am Every Good Thing
2021 Christina Soontornvat All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team
2022 Harmony Becker Himawari House


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