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2016 Discover Awards

B&N Discover Great New Writers Awards

Winner, Fiction

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The Lightkeepers

A young woman finds herself surrounded by an unreliable cast of characters on a remote archipelago--and caught in a murder mystery. Abby Geni’s sense of place and haunting narrative voice reminded us of Eowyn Ivey’s bestselling Discover pick The Snow Child and 2014 Discover Award Winner (Fiction), All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld.

2nd Place, Fiction

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This indelible novel follows two branches of a family—one in America and the other in Africa--over 300 years, and the writing is so assured that it’s hard to believe this is a debut. This heartbreaking, beautiful book reminded us of Toni Morrison’s exquisite novels and an earlier Discover pick, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.

3rd Place, Fiction

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Our jaws dropped as we read the shocking opening, and we couldn’t stop turning pages as a young father is forced to face his past – and his parents – in order to save his family’s future. This is a must-read for anyone who compulsively read Celeste Ng’s bestseller Everything I Never Told You.  

Winner, Nonfiction

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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Like Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family or Alex Kotlowitz’s There Are No Children Here, Matthew Desmond’s reportage put human faces on a modern American crisis, and kept us reading late into the night by presenting a mix of thought-provoking analysis and Americans telling their own deeply resonant stories about systemic poverty.

2nd Place, Nonfiction

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Lab Girl

Hope Jahren loves science, and she's built her impressive career on her passion for trees, flowers, seeds and soil. Like her fellow scientist/writer Oliver Sacks, she's also a captivating and insightful storyteller. Reading her inspiring, bestselling memoir made us want to drop everything and re-enroll in school.

3rd Place, Nonfiction

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Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

We couldn't stop reading this meticulously researched and beautifully written history, despite its harrowing story.  An award-winning writer looks back at his hometown, vividly recounting an ugly and tragic episode from the turn of the 20th Century--and the violence that kept the community all white, well into the 1990s.