The American Library Association has selected The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai as the winner of the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon as the winner of the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.
The selections were announced January 27, 2019, at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Book and Media Awards, sponsored by NoveList, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
Makkai’s novel explores the complexities of friendship, family, art, fear, and love in WWI-era and present-day Paris and 1980s Chicago while illuminating the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
In his memoir, writing professor Laymon recalls the traumas of his Mississippi youth: the depthless hunger that elevated his weight; his obsessive, corrective regime of diet and exercise; and his gambling, teaching, activism, and trust in the power of writing.
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, established in 2012, serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by ALA and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals and booksellers who work closely with adult readers.
More information on the awards can be found at http://www.ala.org/carnegieadult.