In a year with many excellent books published, I'm sure the judges of this prestigious award had many hard choices to make. But the winners were recently announced. They include:
Fiction: Redeployment by Phil Kay
This collection of stories by an ex-Marine takes us to the front lines of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and in the best tradition of battle writing, the stories describe what it feels like to be on the front line. Klay also makes vivid the experience of coming home again after living through the loss of many comrades.
His inspiration to write came from reading Roald Dahl and Shil Silverstein as a child and Edgar Allen Poe and Shusaku Endo as a young adult.
Nonfiction: Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos
Osnos spent many years in China and was thunderstruck by the rapid onslaught of many changes in work, family, culture and politics. He compares it to America’s Gilded Age but perhaps our Gilded Age on steroids. While writing this book, he was inspired by Katherine Boo’s Beyond the Beautiful Forevers, Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. He found it overwhelming to record a country's experience with such depth as Boo did with India.