The New York City Book Awards
The New York Society Library's New York City Book Awards, established in 1995, honor books of literary quality or historical importance that, in the opinion of the selection committee, evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City. The city must play an essential role beyond that of the setting. A worthy book, whether academic, literary, or popular, must be well written and engaging. It should shed some new or unusual light on New York City. As part of the Book Awards, the Library also presents the Hornblower Award. Established in 2011, this award is given to an excellent New York City-related book by a first-time author. 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of the New York City Book Awards, and the 10th anniversary of the Hornblower Award!
The 2020-2021 winners were:
- Johanna Fernández, The Young Lords: A Radical History (University of North Carolina Press)
- Bill Hayes, How We Live Now: Scenes from the Pandemic (Bloomsbury)
- N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became (Orbit)
- James McBride, Deacon King Kong (Riverhead)
- Jonathan Daniel Wells, The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of Civil War (Bold Type Books)
The Hornblower Award for a First Book
- Stephen Haff, Kid Quixotes: A Group of Students, Their Teacher, and the One-Room School Where Everything is Possible
Sarah Sierra and Stephen Haff, Becoming Kid Quixote: A True Story of Belonging in America
The 2020-2021 New York City Book Awards were generously underwritten by Ellen M. Iseman.