Award Winners


The librarians at the Topsfield Town Library have developed this resource to highlight books that have been awarded some of the most prestigious prizes in book publishing over the most recent several years. Check out the Topsfield Town Library’s Best of the Year on our Golden Goulds page.

Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction …” (Source: Nobel Prize website)

2023: Jon Fosse
2022: Annie Ernaux
2021: Abdulrazak Gurnah
2020: Louise Gluck
2019: Peter Handke
2018: Olga Tokarczuk

Pulitzer Prize in Fiction

The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction is awarded to “distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.” (Source: Pulitzer Prize website)

2023: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver and Trust by Hernan Diaz
Finalists: The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara
2022: The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen
Finalists: Monkey Boy by Fransisco Goldman, Palmares by Gayl Jones
2021: The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Finalists: A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth by Daniel Mason, Telephone by Percival Everett
2020: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Finalists: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

National Book Award for Fiction

The National Book Award for Fiction is awarded to a piece of fiction written by an American author (see full guidelines here).

2023 Shortlist: Chain-Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Temple Folk by Aaliyah Bilal, This Other Eden by Paul Harding, The End of Drum-Time by Hanna Pylvainen, Blackouts by Justin Torres
2022 : The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty
Finalists: The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Jamil Jan Kochai, All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews
2021: Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
Finalists: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, Matrix by Lauren Groff, Zorrie by Laird Hunt, The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
2020: Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Finalists: Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
2019: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
Finalists: Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, The Other Americans by Laila Lalami, Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction honors the best published works of fiction by American permanent residents in a calendar year. (Source)

2023: The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery, Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell, The Islands by Dionne Irving, Fruiting Bodies by Kathryn Harlan.

2022: The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine
Finalists: Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Admed, The President and the Frog by Carolina de Robertis, Dear Miss Metropolitan by Carolyn Ferrell, How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

2021:The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
Finalists: Disappear Doppelganger Disappear by Matthew Salesses, The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe, Mother Daughter Widow Wife by Robin Wasserman, Scattered Lights by Steve Wiegenstein

2020: Sea Monsters by Chole Aridjis
Finalists: Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li, The Night Swimmers by Peter Rock, We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award

First presented in 2016, the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award honors a work of fiction from the previous calendar year that speaks with an “American Voice” about American experiences. (Source: Mark Twain House & Museum)

2023 : Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh
Shortlist Mother Country by Jacinda Townsend, The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty, Trust by Hernan Diaz
2022: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
2021: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
2020: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
2019: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
2017: Dodgers by Bill Beverly
2016: The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle

Booker Prize

Each year, the Booker Prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best sustained work of fiction written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. (Source)

2023: Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
Shortlist: The Bee Sting by Paul Murray, Western Lane by Chetna Maroo,, This Other Eden by Paul Harding, If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery, Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein
2022: The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilak
Shortlist: Glory by Noviolet Bulawayo, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, The Trees by Percival Everett, Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout, Treacle Walker by Alan Garner
2021: The Promise by Damon Galgut
2020: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
2019: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
2018: Milkman by Anna Burns

Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize is given to a debut novel published in the United States between January 1st and December 31st of the competing year, honoring the best debut fiction of the year (Source)

2023 Shortlist: Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo, Lookout by Christine Byl, Pay As You Go by Eskor David Johnson, Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks, Night Wherever We Go by Tracey Rose Peyton, We Are a Haunting by Tyriek White, Y/N by Esther Yi
2022: If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Norr Naga
2021: The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

New England Book Award in Fiction

The New England Book Award in Fiction is awarded to adult fiction materials either about New England, set in New England, or written by an author residing in New England. (Source)

2023: Yellowface by RF Kuang
Finalists: When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar, Scorched Grace by Margot Douaihy, Thistlefoot by GennaRose Nethercott, Confessions of Matthew Strong by Ousmane K. Power-Greene
2022: Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
Finalists: Babel by R.F. Kuang,  Ben and Beatriz by Katalina Gamarra, Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel, The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon
2021: Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge
2020: Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
2019: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
2018: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, established in 2012, recognize the best fiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. It is awarded during the Midwinter American Library Association conference. (Source)

2024: The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters
Shortlist: Denison Avenue by Christina Wong and Daniel Innes, Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward
2023: The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
Shortlisted: The Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty, Greenland by David Santos Donaldson
2022: The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin
2021: Deacon King Kong by James McBride
2020: Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
2019: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
2018: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Barbara Gittings Literature Award (Stonewall Award)

Sponsored by the American Library Association’s Rainbow Round Table, the Barbara Gittings Literature Stonewall Award is honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience. (Source)

2023: The Other Mother by Rachel M. Harper
2022: Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
Finalists: Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki, Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans, Stone Fruit by Lee Lai, A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
2021: Thirty Names of Night by  Zeyn Joukhadar
2020: Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis
2019: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
2018: Meanwhile, Elsewhere edited by Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett

Lambda Literary Awards

In 1989, the Lambda Literary Awards were created to garner national visibility for LGBTQ books, which had established a foothold through a nascent network of lesbian and gay publishers and bookstores. (Source)

Transgender Fiction

2023: The Call-Out by Cat Fitzpatrick
Finalists: All the Hometowns You Can’t Stay Away From by Izzy Wasserstein, Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta by James Hannaham, Manywhere by Morgan Thomas, Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
2022: Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton
2021: Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
2020: Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
2019: Little Fish by Casey Plett

Bisexual Fiction

2023: Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste
Finalists: Meet Us by the Roaring Sea by Akil Kumarasamy, Mother Ocean Father Nation by Nishant Batsha, Roses, In the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehman, Stories No One Hopes Are About Them by A.J. Bermudez
2022: We Want What We Want by Alix Ohlin
2021: You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat
2020: Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan
2019: Disoriental by Negar Djavadi

Gay Fiction

2023: The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan
Finalists: Call Me Cassandra by Marcial Gala, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu, Hugs and Cuddles by João Gilberto Noll, My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson
2022: 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell
2021: Neotenica by Joon Oluchi Lee
2020: Lot by Bryan Washington
2019: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Lesbian Fiction

2023: Gods of Want by K-Ming Chang
Finalists: Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley, Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
2022: Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
2021: Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera
2020: Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
2019: The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai

Nebula Award for Best Novel

The Nebula Award for Best Novel annually recognize the best novel of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States. (Source)

2023: Babel by R.F. Kuang
Finalists: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree, Spear by Nicola Griffith, Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher, , Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, The Mountain and the Sea by Ray Nayler
2022: Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
Finalists: The Unbroken by C. L. Clark, Machinehood by S.B. Divya, A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, Plague Birds by Jason Sanford
2021: Network Effect by Martha Wells
2020: A Song For A New Day by Sarah Pinsker
2019: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel

The Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel is given at each annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention The award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. (Source)

2023: Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett
Finalists: The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias, The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman, A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny, The Maid by Nita Prose, Secret Identity by Alex Segura
2022: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Finalists: Runner by Tracy Clark, , The Collective by Alison Gaylin, Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara, These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall
2021: Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby
2020: The Murder List by Hank Phillipi Ryan
2019: November Road by Lou Berney.

International Thriller Writers Award for Best Hardcover Novel

The Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel is awarded to the best hardcover novel thriller, published in English for the first time, anywhere in the world, in the past calendar year. (Source)

2023: Sundial by Catriona Ward
Finalists: The Violence by Delilah Dawson, Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier, The Fervor by Alma Katsu, The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon, Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone,  The Fields by Erin Young
2022: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Finalists: The Turnout by Megan Abbott, Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney, These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall, Red Widow by Alma Katsu, I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad
2021: Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby
2020: The Chain by Adrian McKinty
2019: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Woman’s Prize for Fiction

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award celebrating & honouring fiction written by women. (Source)

2023: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Finalists: Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris, Pod by Laline Paull, Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks, Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
2022: The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
2021: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
2020: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
2019: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel

The Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel is awarded by the Mystery Writers of America, and honors the best in mystery fiction. (Source)

2023: Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
Finalists: Devil House by John Darnielle, Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett, Gangland by Chuck Hogan, The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias, The Maid by Nita Prose
2022: Five Decembers by James Kestrel
Finalists: The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen, Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby, How Lucky by Will Leitch, No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield
2021: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
2020: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
2019: Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosely

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. (Source)

2023: Horse by Geraldine Brooks and The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang
2022: The Trees by Percival Everett
2021: Deacon King Kong by James McBride
2020: The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
2019: There There by Tommy Orange
2018: Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

This award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. (Source)

2023: The Last Paladin by P.T. Deutermann
2022: The Eagles Claw by Jeff Shaara
2021: A Quiet Cadence by Mark Treanor
2020: Darkness at Chancellorsville by Ralph Peters
2019: And The Whole Mountain Burned by Ray McPadden

PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction

The PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel honors a debut novel of exceptional merit by an American author who has not previously published a full-length book of fiction. (Source)

2023: Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah
Finalists: Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen, Shutter by Ramona Emerson, Little Rabbit by Alyssa Songsiridej, Which Side Are You On by Ryan Lee Wong
2022: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
2021: Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
2020: A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar
2019: There, There by Tommy Orange

Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction

The Massachusetts Book Awards recognize significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by current Commonwealth residents.

2023: The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali by Uzma Aslam Khan
Honorees: Horse by Geraldine Brooks, Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

2022: The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
Honorees: An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon, Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke
2021: The Bear by Andrew Krivak
Honorees: Inheritors by Asako Serizawa, The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner
2020: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
2019: The Unmade World by Steve Yarbrough

Gold Dagger Award

This award is for the best crime novel by an author of any nationality, originally written in English and first published in the UK during the judging period. (Source)

2023: The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green
Finalists: The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan, A Killing in November by Simon Mason, The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola, The Winter Guest by WC Ryan, The Silent Brother by Simon Van der Velde
2022: Sunset Swing by Ray Celestin
2021: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
2020: Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
2019: The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven

Dayton Literary Peace Prize

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, inaugurated in 2006, is the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize invites nominations in adult fiction and nonfiction books published within the past year that have led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view. (Source)

2023: Horse by Geraldine Brooks
2022: The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
2021: We Germans by Alexander Starrit
2020: The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Updated: December 2023

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