NEW YORK — A debut novel about a young Black woman in publishing who has an affair with a married white guy has won a $50,000 award. Raven Leilani’s”Luster” is this year’s winner of this Kirkus Prize for fiction.
The trade book Kirkus Reviews declared two $50,000 honors on Wednesday: Mychal Denzel Smith’s”Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream” won for best nonfiction and Derrick Barnes'”I’m Every fantastic Thing,” with illustrations by Gordon C. James, for young people’s literature. Barnes and James won 2018 for”Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.”
Finalists included two novels supported by Oprah Winfrey: James McBride’s book”Deacon King Kong” and Isabel Wilkerson’s”Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.”