Short List Announced for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the six books short-listed for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, given for the previous year’s best adult titles published in the United States. The short-listed fiction titles all comment on American history and culture. Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach (Scribner) is the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner’s multilayered historical drama about war, gangsters, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s first female diver. George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo (Random), this year’s Man Booker Prize winner, takes the original approach of conveying President Abraham Lincoln’s grief over the death of his young son by visiting the denizens of a Civil War cemetery. Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner), from the 2011 National Book Award winner, features a family fractured across race lines while blending the tense realism of Southern rural poverty and an African American–rooted magic realism.

Also focusing on aspects of American life, the short-listed nonfiction titles include Sherman Alexie’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir (Little, Brown), in which the National Book Award winner blends poetry and essay to depict growing up on the reservation and plumb his difficult relationship with his temperamental, intelligent, and sometimes abusive mother. Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (Bloomsbury USA) tracks the inadequate control of the America’s nuclear program from the 1960s and challenges us to dismantle it, David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Doubleday), a shocking and deftly researched tale, uncovers the terrible violence visited upon the Osage Indian Nation in the 1920s owing to the wealth they derived from oil.

Established in 2012, the Carnegie Medals are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and aim to help librarians identify strong reading material for their patrons. They also serve to highlight the importance of a librarian voice in the publishing world. This year’s winners will be announced on February 11, 2018, at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Denver. All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event at ALA’s 2018 annual conference in New Orleans.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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