Doris Kearns Goodwin and Donna Tartt

Doris Kearns Goodwin, left, won nonfiction for "Bully Pulpit" and Donna Tartt for "The Goldfinch." (Steven Senne / Associated Press (left), Beowulf Sheehan)

The American Library Assn.'s Carnegie Medals were presented in Las Vegas on Sunday. Donna Tartt took the fiction prize for her novel "The Goldfinch," and Doris Kearns Goodwin was awarded the nonficiton prize for "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism."

The announcement was made at the annual conference of the ALA. Both authors were on hand to pick up their medals and $5,000 checks, and to speak to a standing-room-only audience.

“All writers begin as readers," said Tartt in her acceptance speech, according to Publishers Weekly. "And it is not saying too much that, if not for libraries and the kindness of librarians from childhood onward, I wouldn’t be standing here.”

"When I was a child, the library was an extension of my own house, and, over the years, many libraries have become homes to me in both my reading and writing life," she continued.

Goodwin, too, expressed gratitude for libraries. “My love affair with libraries began when I first entered the small public library that stood in the center of my hometown of Rockville Center, N.Y.,” she explained. 

Finalists for the prizes were, in fiction, "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and "Claire of the Sea Light" by Edwidge Danticat. Nonfiction finalists were "On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History" by Nicholas A. Basbanes and "Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital" by Sheri Fink. Authors of those books will each receive $1,500.

The Carnegie Medals are chosen by a committee of librarians and Booklist contributors and were first awarded in 2012.

 

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