One of the major literary awards given out this past week was the Kirkus Prize – in what was the first in-person ceremony since 2019.
The Kirkus Prize has three categories and thus three winners – Trust by Hernan Diaz for fiction; In Sensorium: Notes for My People by Tanaïs; and Himawari House by Harmony Becker (young readers’ literature). Each of these winners receive $50,000 along with their awards, and in all likelihood, a boost in book sales.
Diaz’s novel Trust follows a wealthy New York couple in the early 20th century whose lives may not be as they initially appear. The judges saw how he used multiple perspectives and forms, pushing the boundaries of what we know a novel can do. They called the novel “a true literary delight.”
Tanaïs’ book In Sensorium is a memoir that incorporates history, geography, and cultural criticism next to an exploration of perfumes and scents. It scored points with the judges for its “daring, inventiveness, vision, and lyrical eloquence,” and was described as “seductive, vital, and incomparable, this is a reading experience that endures.”
Himawari House by Harmony Becker is a YA graphic novel about three foreign exchange students who become close friends while living abroad in Japan. The judges appreciated its “remarkable mastery of graphic novel conventions and its perceptive exploration of emotionally resonant, evergreen themes relating to family, friendship, and identity.”
Credit goes to Michael Schaub for the Kirkus Prize press release. If you wish, you can watch the entire Kirkus Prize ceremony on YouTube.