Photo: MainlyTwelve, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brooklyn Public Library announced the shortlist for the 2022 Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize for fiction and nonfiction/poetry. The prize honors books which exemplify the spirit of Brooklyn, connected to the borough by author, subject matter, or theme; and support the Library’s mission of fostering conversations to address the social, political, and artistic issues of our time.

Selected by librarians and staff, the prize also reflects the ongoing relationships librarians have with patrons in every neighborhood in the borough and their deep knowledge of contemporary writing.

“The Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize honors the finest storytellers working today and celebrates the librarians who contribute so much to Brooklyn’s literary life and beyond,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We look forward to adding these books to our collection to be enjoyed by readers for years to come.”

The list of finalists is as diverse as the borough itself and include experienced and debut writers, immigrants, women, queer and BIPOC authors. In both the fiction and nonfiction categories, they provide fresh, poignant, and sometimes humorous perspectives on the issues facing Brooklynites today including immigration, climate change, sexual orientation, and racial inequity.

In the fiction category, a wedding planner living in Sunset Park tries to navigate her own love life amid the backdrop of a devasting hurricane in Puerto Rico. A mother wonders how she will take her next step after an earthquake kills her children and her husband. Two unlikely traveling partners consider what humans need to make a satisfying life as they travel through the wilderness.

In the nonfiction category, a writer chronicles his journey from rural Oklahoma to Brooklyn, along the way, becoming a queer advice columnist. A journalist considers the impact of enduring racial inequity and violence on young people of color growing up today. A climate activist considers how we will go on in a world that may not.

“Our shortlist for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize this year is an eclectic feast. Written in a wide variety of styles and tones, the books on this year’s shortlist cover a range of topics that we believe are crucially important to all Brooklynites and reflect the multifaceted nature of our highly diverse borough. We are proud to have selected a list of such differently yet excellently written, thematically compelling titles, which will captivate and entertain as well as broadening the perspective of everyone who reads them,” said Librarian Emily Heath, co-chair of the Book Prize Committee.

Alphabetical by author last name

Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Tor Books

What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J. A. Chancy
Tin House

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
Flatiron Books/Macmillan

The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander
Grand Central Publishing

Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer
Simon & Schuster

Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World by Daniel Sherrell

The Brooklyn Public Library Book 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.

About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.

Leave a Reply