2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal Winners: “The Underground Railroad” and “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”

“The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead, published by Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC, was selected as the winner of the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” by Matthew Desmond, published by Crown, Penguin Random House LLC, as the winner of the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. The selections were announced Sunday, Jan. 22 during the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony and Reception at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta.

Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” re-imagines the Underground Railroad in this powerful tale about smart and resilient Cora, a young third-generation slave who escapes the brutality of a Georgia cotton plantation and seeks sanctuary throughout the terrorized South.

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” by Matthew Desmond, shares harrowing stories of eight families who find themselves facing home evictions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail.

The 2017 selection committee includes: Donna Seaman (Chair), Sheryl Cotleur, Andrea J. Copeland, Liz Marie Kirchhoff, Miriam Tuliao, Kaite Mediatore Stover and Nancy L. Pearl.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 and recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the ALA and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers.

The Medals are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognition of Andrew Carnegie’s deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world, and are co-sponsored by ALA’s Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the awards can be found at

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