At a packed reception at the American Library Association annual conference in San Francisco, Anthony Doerr and Bryan Stevenson were announced as the winners of the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.
Doerr won for his book All The Light We Cannot See (which also received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction), while Bryan Stevenson won for Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. It was the second year in a row that the Carnegie Medal for fiction has gone to the year's Pulitzer Prize-winner. In 2014, Donna Tartt won for the The Goldfinch.
The winners beat out an impressive shortlist, including for nonfiction, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert, and Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, by Lawrence Wright. In fiction, Doerr prevailed over Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin, and On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee.
Both Doerr and Stevenson were on hand to accept their medals and $5,000 prizes, and both gave memorable speeches.
Now in its fourth year, the Carnegie Medals have grown quickly and become a prestigious and coveted award adult literary award. ALA officials said last year's awards announcement generated more than 451,000 mentions on the Internet, up from 400,000 in 2013.