2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction


A Vietnam War-era spy novel and a photographer’s memoir were named the winning titles for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.  The American Library Association (ALA) selected The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen, as the fiction winner and Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs, by Sally Mann, as the nonfiction winner. The ALA made the announcement January 10 during a conference in Boston noting that the selections reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers.

According to the ALA, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bravura debut novel, The Sympathizer, illuminates the double-mindedness of a half-French, half-Vietnamese spy as he confronts impossible and dire situations in divided, war-torn Vietnam and the polarized U.S., coalescing into a probing and unsettling tale of political and military failures.

The ALA describes Mann’s Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs as a vital, witty, and bracingly honest account of family, a beloved Virginia farm, and the why and how of making art, revealing in the process the deep wellsprings of her poetic and complexly disquieting images.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 and are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognition of Andrew Carnegie’s deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world.  Read more about the finalists, the six semifinalists, and the awards on the ALA website.