The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize is BPL's annual honor for literature presented by the Brooklyn Eagles.

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. With this year’s prize, the BPL will highlight books which—by subverting literary forms, pushing against established ways of thinking, or otherwise introducing new or challenging ideas—speak to the Library’s ideals. This will connect the prize to the Library’s mission to create a welcoming environment in which all members of the borough’s diverse community—one of the most socially and culturally complex in the country—can come together to contemplate urgent social, political and artistic questions.

BPL librarians have always played a central role in determining the prize winners, and their voices will be amplified even more this year. The nominees and longlists were selected by a committee of librarians, and the shortlists were determined by two panels comprised of librarians from branches across the borough. Librarians also serve alongside prominent authors and cultural leaders to determine the two winners, who each receive $5,000.

The 2017 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize shortlists include a novel, a book-length poem, a collection of short stories, and three works of nonfiction.

2017 Brooklyn Literary Prize Shortlist

Nonfiction

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday)

Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books)

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (Liveright Publishing)

Fiction & Poetry

Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books)

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead Books)

IRL by Tommy Pico (Birds, LLC)

In addition to BPL librarians, members of the shortlist jury include: poet, National Book Award finalist, and MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine; novelist, art critic, and international lecturer on psychoanalysis and neuroscience Siri Hustvedt; Shakespeare scholar and award-winning Columbia University professor James Shapiro; philosopher Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and moderator of "The Stone" at the New York Times; novelist Téa Obreht, 2011 National Book Award finalist and winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction; novelist Imbolo Mbue, winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; Anderson Tepper, editor at Vanity Fair and co-chair of the international committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival; and eminent queer theorist and Columbia University professor Jack Halberstam.

The winners will be celebrated at the Brooklyn Classic, the annual fundraising event of the Brooklyn Eagles, on November 3 at Park Slope Library.

The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize is generously supported by the Peck Stacpoole Foundation.


The Literary Prize Eagles Committee

Charles Duhigg and Ashley Mihlebach, Co-Chairs

2017 Brooklyn Literary Prize Longlist

Nonfiction

Hostage by Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly)

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi (Metropolitan Books)

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday)

Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books)

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson (Plume)

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (Liveright Publishing)

Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair by Sarah Schulman (Arsenal Pulp Press)

 

Fiction & Poetry

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead Books)

Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books)

The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel by Eimear McBride (Hogarth)

IRL by Tommy Pico (Birds, LLC)

Black Wave by Michelle Tea (Feminist Press)

Reputations: A Novel by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Riverhead Books, translated by Anne McLean)

The Impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo (Graywolf Press, trans. by Janet Hong)

The Book of Joan: A Novel by Lidia Yuknavitch (Harper)