Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has announced the longlists for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize. Covering a wide range of topics reflecting Brooklyn’s diverse and creative communities, the longlist includes novels, short stories, poetry, memoir, and nonfiction. Librarians and staff reviewed more than 80 books, drawing on their expertise in literature and contemporary writing as well as their knowledge of Brooklyn and its community of avid readers.
“As we witness an alarming increase in the number of book bans, I am especially honored to highlight and celebrate the writers who continue to take the risk of putting pen to paper. Through stories about immigration, race, and gender, the 24 talented longlist nominees aptly reflect the diversity of Brooklyn and our nation, and we are delighted to add their work to our collection,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library.
In the fiction category, a debut novelist tells the stories of three generations of East New Yorkers as they struggle to pay the rent and find their way in the world amid a devastating loss. In another debut novel, we gain entry into a secret world where books are food and those who eat them, retain the knowledge on the pages after consumption. The imaginative writers in this category also introduce us to a marine biologist and a hyper-intelligent octopus, a family of serial killers in the Old West, and merchant ship cook who prefers the sea to suburbia.
In the nonfiction category, a poet considers how fatherhood changed his view of the world. A journalist introduces us to a forgotten immigrant woman and amateur surgeon who provided abortions in Victorian-era New York. A disability activist shares her extraordinary life in a new memoir. We learn about shocking racial disparities in health care and meet 31 New Yorkers who helped define the city, including Brooklyn’s own Carmelia Goffe, a housing advocate who help revive the neighborhoods near Brownsville Library.
“With books ranging from fantasy to memoir to poetry and beyond, the selection committees have created a list with something for everyone. These books tell the stories of a diverse range of experiences and ask their readers to consider the world from many perspectives. Together, they remind us that reading can be playful, insightful, and challenging all at the same time. We are thrilled to be able to recognize so many exciting books that we hope will resonate with readers all over Brooklyn,” said Librarian Jess Harwick, BPL Book Prize Chair.
The Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize was first established in collaboration with the Brooklyn Eagles, a group of young and engaged Brooklynites who are passionate about Brooklyn Public Library, working to engage new patrons, promote the Library as a cultural center, and build a vibrant community around the resources the library offers. The shortlist nominees will be announced this fall with the final winners named in November.
BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY 2023 BOOK PRIZE LONGLISTS
Alphabetical by author’s last name
Boulder by Eva Baltasar
And Other Stories
Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
All the Blood We Share by Camilla Bruce
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
Biography of X by Catherine Lacey
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
When We Were Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff
The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
Symphony of Secrets
by Brendan Slocumb
We Are a Haunting by Tyriek White
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
Drawn and Quarterly
Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency by Chen Chen
BOA Editions, LTD
A Living Remedy: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe by Caroline Dodds Pennock
Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir by Lamya H
The Dial Press
Muse Found in a Colonized Body by Yesenia Montilla
Four Way Books
The New Yorkers: 31 Remarkable People, 400 Years, and the Untold Biography of the World’s Greatest City by Sam Roberts
Above Ground by Clint Smith
Little, Brown and Company
Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation by Linda Villarosa
Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong
Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist by Jennifer Wright
From From: Poems by Monica Youn
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 2.7 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.