Monday, July 25, 2016

Borough Bookstores, Library Staff Nominate Works of Fiction and Nonfiction Relevant to Brooklyn

Eagles Prize Finalists to Be Announced in September

Brooklyn, NY–Brooklyn Public Library announced the fiction and nonfiction longlists for the second annual Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize today, selecting works from a pool of submissions made this spring by borough bookstores, including Community Bookstore, Hullabaloo Books, BookCourt, Barnes & Noble (7th Avenue & Court Street), WORD Brooklyn, Greenlight Bookstore and Pioneer Books.

The Eagles Prize is awarded annually to two authors, one fiction and one nonfiction, who have lived in Brooklyn, portrayed the borough in their work or addressed themes relevant to its life and culture. The prize was created in 2015 by the Brooklyn Eagles, a community of young professionals who volunteer their time and raise funds for the Library. Last year’s prizewinners were author and journalist DW Gibson (The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification) and debut novelist Atticus Lish (Preparation for the Next Life).

“Much like the shelves that house Brooklyn Public Library’s more than three million books, this year’s Eagles Prize longlists are filled with established authors and rising stars whose work expresses the spirit of Brooklyn, however broadly defined,” said BPL President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “The award celebrates the authors, booksellers, librarians and readers who have made Brooklyn the most literary borough in America’s most literary city.”

The fiction longlist is comprised of 13 works that span a wide range of genres and subjects, including The Star Side of Bird Hill, a lyrical debut novel from Brooklynite Naomi Jackson; Tanwi Nandini Islam’s Bright Lines, a story of immigration and identity that was the inaugural selection of the Gracie Book Club earlier this year; Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo, the acclaimed new novel by Boris Fishman, an author whose work has earned him comparisons to Saul Bellow and Philip Roth;  Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers, in which the novelist who so memorably evoked the beauty and temptations of Mallorca in 2014’s The Vacationers turns her attention to summertime Brooklyn; and Hotels of North America, a darkly comic work from the venerable Rick Moody.

The nonfiction longlist includes works that examine Brooklyn’s artisanal culture (Melissa Schreiber Vaughan and Susanne König’s Made in Brooklyn: An Essential Guide to the Borough's Artisanal Food & Drink Makers); the history of a pair of borough touchstones, the Gowanus Canal (Joseph Alexiou’s Gowanus: Brooklyn's Curious Canal) and the Brooklyn Grange (Anastasia Cole Plakias’s The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business); a pictorial history of a forgotten story from the heyday of boxing (Mike Silver’s Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing: A Photographic History); and thorough examinations of subjects as varied as molecular genetics (The Gene: An Intimate History, Siddhartha Mukherjee), New York history and ethnography (An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians, Paul Moses), and the Godfather of Soul (Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul, James McBride).

The full longlists appear below and are also available at All longlisted titles are available for checkout at Brooklyn Public Library.

The Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize fiction and nonfiction shortlists, selected by committees of BPL librarians, will be announced in September. From there, a panel of Brooklyn’s most celebrated authors and brightest literary minds will choose one winning work from each category. The awards will be presented on October 21 at the Brooklyn Classic, the Eagles’ annual fundraiser.

The Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize is supported by The Peck Stacpoole Foundation.

Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize Longlist, Fiction

  • Jami Attenberg: Saint Mazie (Grand Central Publishing)
  • Boris Fishman: Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo (Harper)
  • Kaitlyn Greenidge: We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books)
  • Samantha Hunt: Mr. Splitfoot (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Naomi Jackson: Star Side of Bird Hill (Penguin Press)
  • Kristopher Jansma: Why We Came to the City (Viking)        
  • Victor Lavalle: The Ballad of Black Tom (  
  • Rick Moody: Hotels of North America (Little, Brown and Company)           
  • Tanwi Nandini Islam: Bright Lines (Penguin Books)  
  • Sylvain Neuvel: Sleeping Giants (Del Rey)     
  • Idra Novey: Ways to Disappear (Little, Brown and Company)          
  • Helen Phillips: The Beautiful Bureaucrat (Henry Holt and Co)
  • Emma Straub: Modern Lovers            (Riverhead Books)

Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize Longlist, Nonfiction

  • Joseph Alexiou: Gowanus: Brooklyn's Curious Canal  (NYU Press)
  • Mary E. Buser: Lockdown on Rikers: Shocking Stories of Abuse and Injustice at New York's Notorious Jail (St. Martin's Press)           
  • Molly Crabapple: Drawing Blood: A Memoir (Harper)
  • James McBride: Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul (Spiegel & Grau)           
  • Paul Moses: An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press)
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Gene: An Intimate History (Scribner)   
  • Anastasia Cole Plakias: The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business (Avery)
  • Chef Rossi: The Raging Skillet: The True Life Story of Chef Rossi (The Feminist Press)       
  • Janette Sadik-Khan: Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution (Viking)
  • Melissa Schreiber Vaughan and Susanne König: Made in Brooklyn: An Essential Guide to the Borough's Artisanal Food & Drink Makers (powerHouse Books)           
  • Mike Silver: Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing: A Photographic History (Lyons Press)
  • Tim Sultan: Sunny's Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar on the Edge of the World (Random House)   
  • Shane White: Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street's First Black Millionaire (St. Martin's Press)

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About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:

About the Brooklyn Eagles

The Brooklyn Eagles are a community of engaged young Brooklyn Public Library supporters whose mission is to connect with new patrons, promote BPL as a cultural center and build a vibrant community around the Library. The Eagles support BPL by fundraising, advocating and raising awareness for Library programs and resources. Since 2013, the Eagles have volunteered their time and engaged hundreds of young professionals through their service projects, happy hours and the annual Brooklyn Classic fundraiser.

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