NEW YORK – The latest novels from Colson Whitehead and Joy Williams, and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers' debut work, “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois,” are among this year's finalists for the Kirkus Prize, $50,000 awards presented by the trade publication.
Whitehead's crime story “Harlem Shuffle," his first novel since the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Nickel Boys," is a fiction nominee, along with Williams' “Harrow,” “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois," an 800-page historical epic that Oprah Winfrey chose for her book club; Jocelyn Nicole Johnson's “My Monticello”; Mariana Enriquez' ”The Dangers of Smoking In Bed," translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell; and Pajtim Statovci's “Bolla,” translated from the Finnish by David Hackston.
The nonfiction finalists are Brian Broome's memoir “Punch Me Up to the Gods,” Dara Horn's “People Love Dead Jews,” Tiya Miles' “All That She Carried,” Kristen Radtke's “Seek You,” Katherine E. Standefer's “Lightning Flowers,” and Juan Villoro's “Horizontal Vertigo,” translated from the Spanish by Alfred MacAdam.
For young reader's literature, the nominees are NoNieqa Ramos' “Your Mama,” Carole Boston Weatherford's “Unspeakable," Nikki Grimes' “Legacy,” Christina Soontornvat's “All Thirteen,” Wai Chim's “The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling” and Sharon G. Flake's “The Life I'm In."
Weatherford's book, which tells of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, was illustrated by Floyd Cooper, who died in July.
Winners will be announced Oct. 28.