Mia Alvar and Jill Leovy Are the 2015 Discover Award Winners
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest
retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and
educational products, today announced that Mia Alvar’s In
the Country (Knopf/Vintage), a sublime collection of short
stories about characters who are profoundly dislocated from the people
and places they love most, and Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside:
a True Story of Murder in America (Spiegel & Grau), a
steely examination of American society that chronicles the commission,
investigation, and aftermath of a single murder, are the winners of the
2015 Discover Awards for fiction and nonfiction, respectively. Each
writer was awarded a cash prize of $30,000 and a full year of marketing
and merchandising support from the bookseller.
Second-place winners are Angela Flournoy’s The
Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) for fiction, a
powerful novel in which thirteen siblings come together to decide the
fate of the family home in Detroit that was also a finalist for the
National Book Award, and George Hodgman’s Bettyville
(Viking) for nonfiction, a sharp, insightful and often very funny
memoir by a middle-aged ex-New Yorker caring for his elderly mother in
their small Missouri hometown. Each writer was awarded a $15,000 cash
Third place was awarded to Sophie McManus for The
Unfortunates (FSG) for fiction, an ambitious novel in which a
family’s past collides with its present over money, power, secrets and
lies, and to Amy Ellis Nutt for Becoming
Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family for nonfiction,
the inspiring true story of one family’s experiences after they
acknowledge one of their twin sons is a girl. Each writer received a
$7,500 cash prize.
The awards were presented this afternoon at a private ceremony in New
The Discover Awards are presented annually in recognition of literary
excellence. The six finalists for the Discover Awards were chosen from
the 46 titles handpicked by our booksellers for the Discover Great New
Writers program in 2015.
Books by the finalists and judges can be purchased at any Barnes & Noble
store nationwide, online at Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com)
or instantly downloaded on any NOOK® eReader or tablet.
Two panels of distinguished literary judges selected the winners.
Serving as this year’s fiction judges are:
Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters, a New
York Times and international bestseller and a Discover Great New
Writers selection. Her second novel, The Light of Paris,
will be published by Putnam Books in 2016.
Ben Fountain, winner of the Discover Award (fiction) for Brief
Encounters with Che Guevara and a finalist for the 2006 National
Book Award for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, soon to be
a film by Ang Lee.
Thrity Umrigar, bestselling author of six novels and a memoir,
including The Space Between Us and The Story Hour.
She is the Armington Professor of English at Case Western Reserve
This year’s nonfiction judges are:
Scott Anderson, a veteran war correspondent and the author of
five books, most recently the national bestseller Lawrence in
Arabia. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine,
his work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper’s
Candice Millard, author of two New York Times’
bestsellers, The River of Doubt, which was also a Discover
Great New Writers selection, and Destiny of the Republic.
Cheryl Strayed, author of four books, including Wild,
a #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Discover Award
(nonfiction), and the New York Times bestsellers’ Tiny
Beautiful Things and Brave Enough. Her books have
been translated into 40 languages around the world.
Previous Winners of the Discover Awards
Previous winners of the annual Discover Awards include Evie Wyld for All
the Birds, Singing (2014), Anthony Marra for A
Constellation of Vital Phenomena and Justin St. Germain for Son
of a Gun (both in 2013), Amanda Coplin for The
Orchardist (2012), David Sheff for Beautiful
Boy (2008), Joshua Ferris for Then
We Came to the End (2007), Ben Fountain for Brief
Encounters with Che Guevara (2006), Uzodinma Iweala for Beasts
of No Nation (2005), Alison Smith for Name
All the Animals (2004), Monica Ali for Brick
Lane (2003), Dina Temple-Raston for A
Death in Texas (2002), Hampton Sides for Ghost
Soldiers (2001), Elizabeth McCracken for The
Giant’s House (1996), and Chang-rae Lee for Native
Additional information about the 2015 Discover Award winners and judges
can be found at www.bn.com/discover.
The Discover Great New Writers Program
The Discover Great New Writers program (www.bn.com/discover),
which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2015, was
established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality
that our booksellers believe readers won’t want to miss. Titles are
handpicked for their indelible narrative voices, powerful storytelling
and gorgeous prose. Many of the writers previously
selected for the program have gone on to become household names.
For more information on the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
program, please visit www.bn.com/discover,
or ask one of the knowledgeable booksellers at Barnes & Noble’s 640
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
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