Ta-Nehisi Coates's debut novel The Water Dancer among finalists for U.S. Carnegie Medal
Ta-Nehisi Coates' first novel, The Water Dancer, is among the finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.
The $5,000 U.S. prize is presented by the American Library Association and annually recognizes the best fiction and nonfiction published in the U.S.
The Water Dancer tells the story of Hiram Walker, who is born into bondage in Virginia. His father is plantation owner Howell Walker and his mother is Rose, who has been sold away. After almost drowning, Hiram resolves to escape from the Deep South and becomes involved with the Underground.
It was selected as the first book for the latest iteration of Oprah's book club, which is a partnership with Apple.
Three titles were shortlisted in both the fiction and nonfiction categories.
The other fiction finalists are Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli and Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg.
In Lost Children Archive, a family road trip from New York to Arizona grows increasingly tense as news of an "immigration crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border breaks over the radio.
Feast Your Eyes is a novel about an ambitious female photographer trying to balance her career with family in the 1950s.
In the nonfiction category, the finalists are Figuring by Maria Popova, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer and Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham.
The winners will be announced Jan. 26, 2020.
The prize has been given since 2012. Previous fiction winners include Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Previous nonfiction winners include Heavy by Kiese Laymon and Hold Still by Sally Mann.
No Canadians have won the prize. Esi Edugyan was nominated in 2019 for the novel Washington Black.
With files from the Associated Press.