Past Selections

2019-2020 - The Leavers - Lisa Ko

book cover of The Leavers
The Leavers, Lisa Ko’s quietly sensational debut novel about migration, deportation and contested citizenship, is the story of a boy abandoned in the US by his Chinese mother, and the dark, devastating truth behind her disappearance from his life. ~from The Guardian

Lisa Ko was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. The Leavers was named a best book of the year by NPR, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, The Los Angeles Times and others. Born in Queens and raised in Jersey, she lives in Brooklyn.
~ From lisa-ko.com

2018-2019 - Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann

Cover of Let the Great World Spin
"An American masterpiece from internationally bestselling novelist Colum McCann—a dazzling and hauntingly rich vision of the loveliness, pain, and mystery of New York City in the 1970s.

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts. His work has been published in over 40 languages. He is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College." ~ From the author's website: colummccann.com

2017-2018 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover
This New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

Though best-known for The Immortal Life, Rebecca Skloot has written more than 200 feature articles, personal essays, book reviews, and news stories for The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, Discover, Columbia Journalism Review, Seed, New York Magazine, Slate, Popular Science, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications. Her work has been anthologized in several collections, including Best Food Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction. She served as co-editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011 and has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW. For more information: rebeccaskloot.com

2016-2017 - All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See book cover
All the Light We Cannot See is the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a blind French girl and a young German soldier whose paths cross in an unlikely way during World War II.

Anthony Doerr is the author of the story collections The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace and All the Light We Cannot See, which was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. For more information: anthonydoerr.com

2015-2016 - The Moor's Account - Laila Lalami

The Moor's Account book cover

The Moor's Account is the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America, a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record.

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist, and The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was both a nominee for the Man Booker Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. For more info: lailalalami.com

 

2014-2015 - Charming Billy - Alice McDermott

Charming Billy book cover

Charming Billy is a New York Times bestseller, winner of the National Book Award and a finalist for the International Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. Alice McDermott's striking novel is a study of the lies that bind and the weight of familial love, of the way good intentions can be as destructive as the truth they were meant to hide.

Alice McDermott is the author of A Bigamist's Daughter, That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, Child of My Heart, After This, and many short stories. She is the winner of an American Book Award and National Book Award for Charming Billy and is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist as well as a Pen/Faulkner Award and International IMPAC Dublin Literary award finalist. McDermott was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. For more info: alice-mcdermott.com