Monday, November 7, 2016

Books: Horse Racing epic among Kirkus Prize winners

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 na├»ve, 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.”

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