C.E. Morgan, Susan Faludi and Jason Reynolds were honored on Thursday at the third annual Kirkus Prizes ceremony in Austin, Tex. Each prize comes with an award of $50,000.
Ms. Morgan won the fiction prize for her second novel, “The Sport of Kings,” a sprawling story about horse racing, a family in Kentucky and race in America. In The Times, Dwight Garner called it a “ravishing and ambitious” book, “a mud-flecked epic, replete with fertile symbolism, that hurtles through generations of Kentucky history.”
Ms. Faludi took home the nonfiction prize for “In the Darkroom,” a memoir about her father, who had sex reassignment surgery and sent Ms. Faludi the news after the two had barely spoken for 25 years. In The Times, Jennifer Senior wrote: “‘In the Darkroom’ is an absolute stunner of a memoir — probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you’d never expect. Ms. Faludi is determined both to demystify the father of her youth — ‘a simultaneously inscrutable and volatile presence, a black box and a detonator’ — and to re-examine the very notion and nature of identity.”
The young readers’ literature prize went to Jason Reynolds, for “As Brave As You,” in which an 11-year-old boy named Genie visits his grandparents in Virginia and learns about his African-American grandfather’s childhood during the Jim Crow era. In The New York Times Book Review, Lisa Graff wrote: “Genie can come across as a bit naïve, and his adventures … are rather tame. Still, it is hard not to cheer as, in his quiet way, he forges his own course, navigating the fine line between fear and cowardice.”