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Brooklyn Public Library Announces 2023 Longlist for Book Prize

The list of nominated books cover a wide range of topics that reflect Brooklyn's diverse community, including novels, short stories, poetry, memoir and nonfiction. The winners will be announced in November 2023.
Brooklyn Public Library.

The longlist has been announced for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize!

The longlist covers a wide range of topics that reflect Brooklyn's diverse community, and the books range from novels to short stories, poetry, memoir and nonfiction. Librarians and staff reviewed more than 80 books, drawing upon their knowledge of Brooklyn and its community of avid readers.

The shortlist nominees will be announced this fall, with the final winners named in November.

“As we witness an alarming increase in the number of book bans, I am especially honored to highlight and celebrate the writers who continue to take the risk of putting pen to paper. Through stories about immigration, race, and gender, the 24 talented longlist nominees aptly reflect the diversity of Brooklyn and our nation, and we are delighted to add their work to our collection,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library in a press release.

In the fiction category, a sex therapist's transcriptionist falls in love with a client while listening to her sessions (Big Swiss by Jen Beagin); a satirical literary thriller takes on the publishing industry with humor (Yellowface by R.F. Kuang); and an alternative history novel unravels the biography of a prolific artist and musician (Biography of X by Catherine Lacey). 

In the nonfiction category, a Canadian cartoonist experiences working in the oil fields in Alberta (Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton); a memoir tackles Muslim and queer identity while grappling with family, displacement, migration, sexuality, and community (Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir by Lamya H); and a groundbreaking memoir offers a glimpse into a disability activist's journey (Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life by Alice Wong).  

“With books ranging from fantasy to memoir to poetry and beyond, the selection committees have created a list with something for everyone. These books tell the stories of a diverse range of experiences and ask their readers to consider the world from many perspectives. Together, they remind us that reading can be playful, insightful, and challenging all at the same time. We are thrilled to be able to recognize so many exciting books that we hope will resonate with readers all over Brooklyn,” said Librarian Jess Harwick, BPL Book Prize Chair.

Brooklyn Public Library 2023 Book Prize Longlists

Alphabetical by author’s last name

Fiction Longlist

  • Boulder by Eva Baltasar 
  • Big Swiss by Jen Beagin 
  • All the Blood We Share by Camilla Bruce
  • The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean 
  • If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery 
  • Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah 
  • Yellowface by R.F. Kuang 
  • Biography of X by Catherine Lacey 
  • When We Were Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff
  • The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
  • Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb 
  • We Are a Haunting by Tyriek White 

Nonfiction Longlist

  • Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton 
  • Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency by Chen Chen 
  • A Living Remedy: A Memoir by Nicole Chung 
  • On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe by Caroline Dodds Pennock
  • Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir by Lamya H 
  • Muse Found in a Colonized Body by Yesenia Montilla 
  • The New Yorkers: 31 Remarkable People, 400 Years, and the Untold Biography of the World’s Greatest City by Sam Roberts 
  • Above Ground by Clint Smith 
  • Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation by Linda Villarosa 
  • Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life by Alice Wong 
  • Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York's Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist by Jennifer Wright 
  • From From: Poems by Monica Youn