The widely syndicated Associated Press just released a story on the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.
On Sunday night, at the RUSA Book and Media Awards held during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, Colson Whitehead won the fiction prize for The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) and Matthew Desmond won the nonfiction prize for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).
Both books are also included on RUSA’s Notable Books List, announced Sunday night as well.
Cataloging his other accolades, including already winning the National Book Award and being a finalist for the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the AP calls the Carnegie was “a thank-you from the country’s libraries” to Whitehead.
Both winners paid tribute to libraries in return. Whitehead told the AP that “Libraries have propped me up” and Desmond said “Libraries are not just places where people go read a book, but places where an immigrant goes to take English lessons and where folks out of a job search for community … Libraries are on the front lines.”