Gotham Book Prize Announces Eleven Finalists for Annual $50,000 Prize


The Gotham Book Prize is awarded annually to the author of the best book set in or about New York City

The Gotham Book Prize, an annual award first created in the early months of the pandemic to encourage and honor writing about New York City, announced eleven finalists for the 2023 prize today. A jury made up of leading New Yorkers and authors will select the third annual winner in the coming months, who will be awarded a $50,000 prize this spring at an event at P&T Knitwear, a new independent bookstore on the Lower East Side.

For the 2023 prize, the jury has selected as finalists:

  • Activities of Daily LivingLisa Hsiao Chen
  • An Honest LivingDwyer Murphy
  • Big Girl, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
  • Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta, James Hannaham
  • Olga Dies DreamingXochitl Gonzalez
  • Roses, in the Mouth of a LionBushra Rehman
  • The DeceptionsJill Bialosky
  • The Sewing Girl’s TaleJohn Wood Sweet
  • Stories from the Tenants Downstairs, Sidik Fofana
  • Three Muses, Martha Anne Toll
  • TrustHernan Diaz

“There’s no other city that has the diversity, vibrancy, and culture of New York, and the Gotham Book Prize is once again going to honor an author who has captured the remarkable character of our city,” said Gotham Book Prize co-founders Bradley Tusk and Howard Wolfson“While the darkest days of the pandemic are behind us, our cultural community is still recovering. By highlighting these eleven outstanding books and awarding one author a $50,000 prize, we hope to support and encourage even more writers to share the unique stories of our city in the years to come.”

The Gotham Book Prize was created in mid-2020 by Bradley Tusk — the founder of P&T Knitwear — and Howard Wolfson to  recognize the culture that has made New York City special for generations and to uplift the creative community during the challenging early months of the pandemic.

The Gotham Book Prize is awarded annually to the best book published that calendar year — either fiction or nonfiction — that either is about New York City or takes place in New York City.  Deacon King Kong by James McBride was selected as the first annual Gotham Book Prize winner in April 2021Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott was selected as the second winner in April 2022. This year, the jury will select one winner and the $50,000 prize will be awarded in spring 2023 at P&T Knitwear, where all of the finalist books can be purchased.

The jury of leading New Yorkers and authors that will select the award’s winner, include:

  • Anna Akbari, writer, entrepreneur and sociologist
  • Ric Burns, documentarian and filmmaker
  • Stephanie Danler, novelist and memoirist
  • Dr. Christina GreerFordham University professor and political scientist
  • Tom Healy, writer, poet and Director of the Curator Culture series at The Bass Museum
  • Patricia ParkAmerican University professor and novelist
  • Melissa Rivero, novelist
  • Safiya Sinclair, poet
  • Bradley Tusk, CEO of Tusk Holdings and founder of P&T Knitwear
  • Dennis Walcott, Queens Public Library CEO and former NYC Schools Chancellor
  • Julie Wernersbach, General Manager of P&T Knitwear
  • Howard Wolfson, Education program lead of Bloomberg Philanthropies

Howard Wolfson works for Bloomberg Philanthropies, serving as its Education program lead and also runs former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Super PAC. Bradley Tusk is a venture capitalist, political strategist, philanthropist, and writer. The two became friends while working on Mayor Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign. In May 2022, Tusk opened a new independent bookstore and NYC’s only free podcast studio, P&T Knitwear, on the Lower East Side, named after a 1950s garment shop operated by his grandfather on Allen Street after surviving the Holocaust and and immigrating from a displaced persons camp in Germany.

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