Closing Out the Carnegies

Could this be our final post about the sixth-annual Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction? If so: what a long journey it’s been. Since September, when we announced the 2017 longlist, we’ve interviewed every author on the shortlist and made tiny chocolate versions of their books (thanks, Pinterest). We announced the winners back in January and, in our current issue, Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad, fiction winner) and Matthew Desmond (Evicted, nonfiction) gave us lists of books they’d like us to read.

On Saturday, everything culminated at the Hilton in Chicago, when Desmond and Whitehead accepted their awards. Here’s a picture I snapped of them before the ceremony:

While we were talking, Whitehead revealed he’s written 30 pages of a new book (does the man sleep?), and Matthew Desmond told us the secret to writing outstanding dialogue: listen to recordings of interviews over and over again. (Click here to check out Andrew Albanese’s chat with the winners.)

Then it was off to the ballroom. Here’s our tireless marketing director, Melissa Carr, looking over the proceedings from the ornate Hilton balcony:

Booklist’s own Donna Seaman, who acted as the chair of this year’s selection committee, hosted the ceremony. It was pretty fantastic. Featured speaker Sara Paretsky delivered an incredible speech about books and libraries in the current political climate. And there was an outstanding cheesecake buffet afterwards.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the big event. Until next year!

Matthew Desmond at the podium

 

Matthew Desmond and RUSA program officer Leighann Wood

 

Colson Whithead delivering his acceptance speech

 

 

And with Booklist editor and publisher Bill Ott

 

Featured speaker Sara Paretsky

 

Paretsky with adoring fans

 

The winners show off their medals. Congrats!

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About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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