Pittsburgh author Brian Broome named as a finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh author Brian Broome named as a finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize

click to enlarge Brian Broome - CP PHOTO BY JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo by Jared Wickerham
Brian Broome
Earlier this year, Pittsburgh author Brian Broome released his memoir Punch Me Up to the Gods, and the book has received much acclaim from readers and critics alike. Now, the book is a finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize.

The Kirkus Prize is one of the most prestigious literary awards for authors of fiction, non-fiction, and young readers' literature. The prize first began in 2014, and has been awarded to books like Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, Jason Reynolds’ As Brave as You, and Raven Leilani’s Luster.

"You could have never told me that, one day, I would make it as a finalist for one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. I am humbled and grateful and slightly overwhelmed," Broome wrote in a Facebook post that also gave thanks to his editor Rakia Clark and agent Danielle Chiotti.


Besides the honor of being named, Kirkus Prizes also come with a cash award of $50,000.

Punch Me Up to the Gods was nominated in the non-fiction category, along with Kristen Radtke’s Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, Tiya Miles’ All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews: Reports From a Haunted Present, Katherine E. Standefer’s Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life, and Juan Villoro’s Horizontal Vertigo: A City Called Mexico, translated by Alfred MacAdam.

“This year’s roster of finalists is as exceptional as any we’ve seen,” says Kirkus Reviews editor-in-chief Tom Beer in a press release. “Our judges have surveyed a remarkably diverse field and identified the books that deserve the widest possible readership. That has always been our mission at Kirkus, and we’re thrilled to further it with this year’s prizes.”

This year’s winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on Oct. 28 livestreamed from the Austin Public Library in Austin, Texas.

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