Armiah, Ruskovich, Zhang are Finalists for NYPL’s 2018 Young Lions Fiction Award

The New York Public Library has announced the five finalists for its 2018 Young Lions Fiction Award, which annually champions emerging writers and encourages innovation and excellence in contemporary fiction, with Penguin Random House imprints publishing three of the five authors’ books on this year’s shortlist. The winner will be announced on June 7 during an awards ceremony in the Celeste Bartos Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at the New York Public Library.

Our Young Lions Fiction Award finalists: WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead) IDAHO by Emily Ruskovich (Random House) SOUR HEART by Jenny Zhang (Lenny) View the complete list of finalists here. Founded in 2001, the Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of writers, editors and librarians.

Kang, Saadawi,Tokarczuk are Finalists for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize

The Man Booker International Prize, which annually celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, has announced its 2018 shortlist of six titles, with three of the books published by Penguin Random House imprints:

  THE WHITE BOOK by Han Kang (South Korea), translated by Deborah Smith (Hogarth to publish in the U.S. in Spring 2019) FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD by Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), translated by Jonathan Wright (Penguin Books published in the U.S. 1/23/18) FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), translated by Jennifer Croft (Riverhead Books to publish in the U.S. 8/14/18) View the complete Man Booker International Prize 2018 shortlist here. The panel of judges included two Penguin Random House authors: Hari Kunzru, whose most recent book is WHITE TEARS (Vintage), and Helen Oyeyemi, whose most recent book is WHAT IS NOT YOUR IS NOT YOURS (Riverhead). The winner of the 2018 prize will be announced on May 22 at an awards dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, with the £50,000 prize being divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning book. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator will share £1,000 each.

Riverhead Author Mohsin Hamid Wins Aspen Words Literary Prize for EXIT WEST

Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST (Riverhead Books) has won the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize, a new $35,000 award given to “an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.” The four finalists included fellow Riverhead author Lesley Nneka Arimah for WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY and Viking author Zinzi Clemmons for WHAT WE LOSE.

Riverhead Vice President, Editorial Director Rebecca Saletan accepted the award on Hamid’s behalf at the awards ceremony on Tuesday night at the Morgan Library in Manhattan. Afterwards, Saletan talked with NPR’s Linda Holmes about EXIT WEST. You can find out more about the ceremony and watch Mohsin Hamid’s recorded speech here. Among Hamid’s remarks: "I'm really grateful to be honored by this prize in particular, which is a prize that looks to books to have an impact on the world." In a conversation with NPR host Michel Martin during the evening, Arimah gave advice to new writers: “Be radically honest with yourself and with everyone else.”

Penguin Random House Named Audiobook Publisher of the Year at LBF

Penguin Random House Audio is the inaugural winner of the Audiobook Publisher of the Year prize, which was presented at the 2018 London Book Fair International Excellence Awards the evening of April 10.

Amanda D’Acierno, Executive Vice President & Publisher, Penguin Random House Audio Group, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be the first publisher to receive this award, which is especially meaningful in a year in which the London Book Fair is bestowing deserved recognition on the fast-growing significance of and popularity internationally for audiobooks and audio publishing.” “Crucial to Penguin Random House Audio’s success is finding the right voices, making accurate recordings and memorable performances,” commented the judges, who also noted the winner’s “professionalism, sheer quality, and scale of their ambition” The International Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding publishing merit in seventeen categories, and are judged by experts in each sector. The other shortlisters for the audiobook publisher of the year award, which was open to publishers outside the UK, were Brazil’s and Kaishu Story Media & Culture Co from China. To view the complete list of 2018 LBF International Excellence Awards winners, click here.

4 of Our Books Shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award

The 10 finalists for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award have been announced, the shortlist including 4 authors and their books published in the U.S. by Penguin Random House imprints. Sponsored by the Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries, the international competition receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the world and recognizes both writers and translators.

The Dublin Literary Award, now in its 23rd year, is one of the richest literary prizes in the world, worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated, the author receives €75,000 and the translator €25,000. A five-member international judging panel, chaired by Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner, which will be announced by Lord Mayor, Ardmhéara, Mícheál Mac Donncha, Patron of the Award, on June 13 in Dublin, Ireland. Our shortlisters: HUMAN ACTS by Han Kang; translated from Korean by Deborah Smith (Hogarth) THE LESSER BOHEMIANS by Eimear McBride (Hogarth) LADIVINE by Marie Ndiaye; translated from French by Jordan Stump (Alfred A. Knopf)   MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout (Random House) To view the complete list of 2018 International Dublin Literary Award finalists, click here. To read an Irish Times article by Hogarth author John Boyne about this year’s shortlist, click here.
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Hogarth Author Anthony Marra Wins the Simpson Family Literary Prize

Hogarth author Anthony Marra has won the Simpson Family Literary Prize, which honors mid-career authors who have earned a distinguished reputation with a $50,000 cash award to encourage and support forthcoming work. Now in its second year, the Simpson Prize is administered by the University of California, Berkeley English Department and the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation. As the prize winner, Marra will give a public reading, make a limited number of Bay Area public appearances, and be in brief residence at the Lafayette Library and UC Berkeley.

Author Joyce Carol Oates, who is on the project committee, and presented the prize, said: “Anthony Marra is a warmly inspired storyteller and a brilliant stylist. He is at once a chronicler of savage history and of the most tenderly intimate of emotions. Both his highly acclaimed works of fiction — A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA and THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO — astonish with their capacity for illuminating the secrets of the human heart and will endure as unique contributions to American literature of the early 21st century.” [caption id="attachment_110465" align="alignright" width="200"] Anthony Marra, credit Smeeta Mahanti[/caption] Marra responded: "I am deeply honored and grateful to receive the 2nd annual Simpson Family Literary Prize. I will use the time this opportunity affords to finish my current project, a historical novel about the community of European refugees and exiles in 1940s Hollywood. “This is my first work set in America, and though mid-century Los Angeles (‘Sunny Siberia,’ as exiles called it) is new terrain, this novel is preoccupied with the same concerns as my previous books: political coercion, historical amnesia, and falsified realities. At a time when these themes dominate American political life, this novel and the questions it raises feel all the more urgent to me. I look forward to discussing this and more in engagements with the Berkeley English Department and the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. “My current novel, like THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO and A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA, is structured as a tapestry of interwoven narratives and voices. It’s an architecture I’m drawn to because it suggests that storytelling is communal. And so it gives me tremendous pride to think that the little thread of my life has been woven into the larger story of the Simpson Family Literary Project.”

Poets & Writers Gala Honors Knopf Authors Adichie, Russo, Riverhead Editorial Director Rebecca Saletan

The annual spring gala benefit dinner for Poets & Writers—America’s largest nonprofit service organization dedicated to fostering the professional development of poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers—is always an enjoyably memorable occasion to celebrate one of its core missions:   “to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.” This objective was thrillingly achieved at this year’s event, held in Manhattan on March 28, at which Riverhead Books Vice President and Editorial Director Rebecca Saletan and Knopf authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Richard Russo were honored for their exceptional contributions to the writing and publishing community. 

[caption id="attachment_10503" align="alignright" width="447"] The 2018 Editor’s Award winner Rebecca Saletan (front left) with several of the authors she has edited.[/caption] Rebecca Saletan is the recipient of “The Editor’s Award” for 2018 from the group, which recognizes “a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time.” It was presented to her by Masha Gessen, whose THE FUTURE IS HISTORY won the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Before offering eloquent tributes from authors also edited by the nominee, many of whom were in attendance, Ms. Gessen said: “Becky has been my editor for the last 14 years and six books. She has given my books names and shape. She has made me feel that it was safe to take writing risks. That’s what an editor does: she enables the writer to dare by showing that she will not let them make a fool of themselves. She is both the safety net and the tightrope walk that is writing (or that writing can be).” Ms. Saletan then spoke reflectively and movingly about being an editor. One highlight of many: “When I think about the writers and books I have worked with, it’s the dialogue about shape that I most remember. A draft of a story in which a kind of sonic boom goes off. The beginning demands an answering boom on the end. Rather than trying to launch six complicated characters at the outset, how about introducing them one by one, like a juggler putting balls in the air? Perhaps not surprisingly, all my career I have been drawn to writing and writers who are structurally innovative and do not fit into easy categories—fiction/nonfiction, narrative essay, poets AND  writers. I love that the very name of this organization allows for the reading that they are one and the same.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Richard Russo each received “The Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award,” which celebrates “authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community.” Ms. Adichie, a fiction and nonfiction author whose acclaimed books include AMERICANAH, effusively paid tribute to the Poets & Writers bi-monthly magazine—considered to be a bible in the writing community for its extensive presentation of available writer prizes and grants, and for its authoritative interviews—as the first magazine she ever subscribed to. Mr. Russo, whose more than a dozen published works of fiction and nonfiction include EMPIRE FALLS and NOBODY’S FOOL, aptly expressed the spirit of the evening and singularity of its hosts, remarking: “Even the most solitary writers accrue debts—to agents, editors, publicists…Literary debts, like so many others, can only be paid forward. Helping emerging writers find an audience is one important way of doing that, and it’s particularly important now, when there aren’t nearly as many opportunities for young writers as there were when I myself was emerging … I offer what help I can to emerging authors because doing so, frankly, is fun …”

Penguin Press Author Stephen Kotkin Wins the Mark Lynton History Prize for STALIN

Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard announced the winners of the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards, including the Mark Lynton History Prize for Stephen Kotkin’s STALIN: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, published by Penguin Press.  Established in 1998, the Lukas Prize Project, marking its 20th anniversary year, honors the best in American nonfiction writing. The late Mark Lynton was an historian and senior executive at the firm Hunter Douglas in the Netherlands.  Mr. Kotkin will receive his $10,000 prize at a the Lukas Prize Project Awards ceremony on May 10 at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. 

The judges’ citation reads as follows:  “A stunning achievement, Stephen Kotkin’s STALIN reveals with precision and clarity the period in which the impatient dictator developed into a monster who used his authoritarian rule and coercive power to manipulate social divisions, invent enemies, and forge despotism in mass bloodshed.  Through his prodigious research and command of an immense body of new documents, Kotkin comprehensively documents Josef Stalin’s rule and his remaking of the USSR into an empire, and he gets inside the mind of a tyrant whose murderous obsessions led him to execute nearly a million people. This second volume of Kotkin’s (planned) trilogy deepens understanding of the turbulent, tragic period by juxtaposing Stalin’s extension of influence in the Soviet Union with Adolf Hitler’s rise in Germany, culminating in the most disastrous conflagration in modern history. In a landmark work of historical scholarship, Kotkin has written a captivating biography of a despot that chronicles the evolution of Stalin as a human being, political operator, and growing archfiend in this horrific era of modern history.” View the complete list of 2018 Lukas Prize Project Awards winners and finalists here.

Our Finalists for 2018 Indies Choice, E.B. White Read-Aloud, Indie Champion, and Picture Book Hall of Fame

The American Booksellers Association has announced the finalists for the 2018 Indies Choice Awards, the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, as well as nominees for the Indie Champion Award and Picture Book Fall of Fame honors — and Penguin Random House adult and children’s titles across our divisions are prominently represented. Through “Indies Choice,” independent booksellers from ABA member stores get to select their favorite titles published last year, and vote for them through May 2 via online balloting.  Winners will be announced on May 9, and will be celebrated along with the honor book recipients, at the ABA Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch on Wednesday, May 30, at BookExpo 2018 at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.  

Here are our finalists: Book of the Year – Adult Fiction EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books) LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders (Random House) LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press) Book of the Year – Adult Nonfiction HALLELUJAH ANYWAY: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books) KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday) SILENCE: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge, Becky L. Crook (Trans.) (Pantheon) SPINELESS: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone by Juli Berwald (Riverhead Books) THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel  (Knopf) Book of the Year – Young Adult DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone (Crown Books for Young Readers) TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green (Dutton Books for Young Readers) E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Picture Book COME WITH ME by Holly M. McGhee, Pascal Lemaître (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers) DRAGONS LOVE TACOS 2: The Sequel by Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri (Illus.) (Dial Books) E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Middle Reader THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA by Pablo Cartaya (Viking Books for Young Readers) THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK by Celia C. Pérez (Viking Books for Young Readers) THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET by David Barclay Moore  (Knopf Books for Young Readers) Audiobook of the Year AMERICAN WAR: A Novel by Omar El Akkad, Read by Dion Graham  (Random House Audio) KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, Read by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, and Danny Campbell (Random House Audio) LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders, Read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and a Full Cast (Random House Audio) Indie Champion Award Jacqueline Woodson David Levithan Judy Blume Celeste Ng Picture Book Hall of Fame I HAVE A DREAM by Martin Luther King, Kadir Nelson (Illus.) (Schwartz & Wade) OTIS AND THE TORNADO by Loren Long (Philomel Books) TAR BEACH by Faith Ringgold (Knopf Books for Young Readers) WHY MOSQUITOES BUZZ IN PEOPLE’S EARS by Verna Aardema, Leo and Diane Dillon (Illus.) (Dial Books for Young Readers) Congratulations to all of our finalists, their publishers, and our sales teams upon receiving this wonderful recognition from our valued retail partners. Click here to view a complete list of finalists.  

Jacqueline Woodson Named 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Laureate

Penguin Random House author Jacqueline Woodson was named the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Laureate, the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The prize amounts to 5 million Swedish krona (approximately $613,000).  Woodson is the author of more than thirty books, including novels, poetry and picture books. One of her most lauded titles is the National Book Award- winning memoir in verse  BROWN GIRL DREAMING  (Nancy Paulsen Books).  

The award announcement from Sweden was made on March 27 at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Domestic and international outlets such as New York Daily News,  Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Shelf Awareness, and the BBC have shared the good news. Woodson will be interviewed this Friday by Gayle King for the CBS This Morning podcast. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on May 28. The citation of the jury reads: “Jacqueline Woodson introduces us to resilient young people fighting to find a place where their lives can take root. In language as light as air, she tells stories of resounding richness and depth. Jacqueline Woodson captures a unique poetic note in a daily reality divided between sorrow and hope.” Woodson frequently writes about teens making the transition from childhood to adult life. Masterful characterization and a deep understanding of the adolescent psyche are hallmarks of her work. Her books are written in the first person, usually from a female point of view. Racism, segregation, economic injustice, social exclusion, prejudice and sexual identity are all recurring themes. In January, she was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in the United States. “It’s important to hold up mirrors for kids to see their experience is legitimate. Too often those mirrors aren’t there for them,” says Woodson.