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Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Eagles are proud to announce the 2020 BPL Literary Prize winners: Ruha Benjamin and Ocean Vuong.

Brooklyn Public Library is pleased to announce Ruha Benjamin was awarded the 2020 Nonfiction Prize for Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity) and Ocean Vuong was awarded the 2020 Fiction & Poetry Prize for his novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press).

Each year Brooklyn Public Library, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Eagles, recognizes outstanding works of nonfiction and fiction with a prize given in the fall. The winners will accept their awards, which come with a $5,000 prize, on Friday, November 20, 2020 at the Brooklyn Classic, the signature fundraising event of the Brooklyn Eagles. 

Librarians from across the borough submitted 110 titles, published after June 1, 2019, for consideration. A volunteer team of nearly two dozen librarians—specializing in fields ranging from adult literature, business and career services, and historical collections—served on the selection committee. The committee looked for books that push boundaries, bring light to unheralded stories, or give voice to the silenced


2020 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Shortlist

Nonfiction

Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin (Polity)

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (Simon and Schuster)

The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina (Knopf)

Fiction & Poetry

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Gallery/Saga Press)

The Deep by Rivers Solomon (with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes) (Gallery/Saga Press)

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Press)


2020 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Longlist

Nonfiction

America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States by Erika Lee (Hachette)

A Black Women's History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross (Beacon Press)

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker (Doubleday Books)

Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall (Viking)

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones (Simon and Schuster)

I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World by Kai Cheng Thom (Arsenal Pulp Press)

The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina (Knopf)

Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code By Ruha Benjamin (Polity)

 

Fiction & Poetry

The Deep by Rivers Solomon (with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes) (Gallery/Saga Press)

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Press)

Patsy: A Novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn (Liveright)

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz (Graywolf Press)

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday)

This is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Gallery/Saga Press)

Weather: A Novel by Jenny Offill (Knopf)


The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize was established in 2015 by the Brooklyn Eagles, a group of young and engaged Brooklynites who are passionate about Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and work to engage new patrons, promote the Library as a cultural center, and build a vibrant community around the resources the library offers.

Last year, Tressie Mcmillan Cottom was awarded the 2019 Nonfiction Prize for Thick: And Other Essays (The New Press) and Miriam Toews was awarded the 2019 Fiction & Poetry Prize for her novel, Women Talking (Bloomsbury Publishing).

The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize presented by the Brooklyn Eagles is generously underwritten by the Peck Stacpoole Foundation

The finalists will be honored at a Shortlist celebration on October 20, and the winners will be feted on November 20 at the Brooklyn Classic, the annual fundraising event hosted by the Brooklyn Eagles. 

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