Lesley Nneka Arimah. Star Tribune photo by Glen Stubbe

Lesley Nneka Arimah. Star Tribune photo by Glen Stubbe


Lesley Nneka Arimah's stunning debut collection, "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky," is a finalist for the prestigious Kirkus Prize in fiction. The prize, which is in its fourth year, carries an honorarium of $50,000 for each winner and is given by Kirkus Reviews. Books that received starred reviews in Kirkus throughout the year are eligible for the prizes, which are given in three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature. This year, 610 children's books, 369 books of fiction and 293 books of nonfiction were considered.

Books published by Minneapolis' Graywolf Press and Coffee House Press are also finalists. Winners will be announced in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 2.

Here is the list:



 The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/Norton)
• The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come from by Edward Dolnick (Basic)
• Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead)
• Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli (Coffee House)
• The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael Twitty (Amistad/HarperCollins)
• Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls (Univ. of Chicago) 


Picture Books:

  • Walk With Me by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng and translated by Elisa Amado (Groundwood)
  • Me Tall, You Small by Lilli L’Arronge and translated by Madeleine Stratford (Owlkids)

Middle Grade:

·         Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang, and illustrated by Meilo So (Candlewick)
·         It All Comes Down to This by Karen English (Clarion)

Young Adult:

·         The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (DCB)
·         The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray)

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