On June 24, 2017 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, librarians, publishers, ALA Leaders and readers alike gathered at the Hilton Chicago to witness a night of literary history.
Sara Paretsky, famed novelist of the “V.I. Warshawski” mystery series and Chicago local was the featured speaker of the ceremony and gave a powerful speech about writing, fighting for Truth and the future of literature. Her inspiring words brought attendees to their feet for a standing ovation.
While accepting his award, Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City said, “The fight continues, and there is still a lot of work to do, but whatever way out of this mess, one thing is certain: this degree of inequality, this level of social suffering, this wreckage that ‘Evicted’ tries to tell about, this cannot be us.” He extended his deepest thanks to libraries: “Your quiet work extends far beyond the page.”
Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad, thanked librarians for their continuous support, “When I talk to booksellers, they tell me how hard it is to hand sell some of my books because I do keep popping around. But there’s this one group that doesn’t seem to mind if I keep changing genres, and that’s you guys.”
The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 by the American Library Association and Carnegie Corporation of New York to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the U.S. in the previous year. They are the first single-book awards for adult titles given by ALA and are cosponsored and administered by Booklist and RUSA.