2014 Discover Awards Shortlist

Fiction

Book Cover Image. Title: The UnAmericans, Author: Molly Antopol

The UnAmericans

Molly Antopol

A collection of breathtaking short stories about assimilation and dislocation, longing and belonging. These characters pulse with loneliness and denial, desire and expectation, and so we follow their stories -- rooting for some, testing our compassion for others -- as we would our own. Read what our judges have to say here.  

Book Cover Image. Title: Elegy on Kinderklavier, Author: Arna Bontemps Hemenway

Elegy on Kinderklavier

Arna Bontemps Hemenway

Suffused with compassion and razor-sharp, these ambitious short stories explore the effects of battlefields - some emotional, some resolutely physical - on humanity. Hemenway illuminates the inner working of his characters in settings ranging from the commonplace to the otherworldly, and the results are unforgettable. Read what our judges have to say here

Book Cover Image. Title: All the Birds, Singing, Author: Evie Wyld

All the Birds, Singing

Evie Wyld

The pages in our copies of this evocative novel about a young woman isolated by geography and her secretive past are dogeared because the prose is just that beautiful. Wyld's beguiling narrative voice, ferocious sense of place, and her careful unspooling of Jake Whyte's story make for the kind of novel we love to read - and re-read. Read what our judges have to say here

Nonfiction

Book Cover Image. Title: Badluck Way:  A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West, Author: Bryce Andrews

Badluck Way

Bryce Andrews

A modern-day Montana cattle hand movingly describes how it really feels to live in the borderlands between wilderness and civilization. Our panel of Nonfiction judges - Malcolm Jones, Pagan Kennedy and Hector Tobar -- calls Badluck Way "spare and beautiful," "great storytelling," and "haunting and unforgettable." Read more from our judges here

Book Cover Image. Title: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes:  And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Author: Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Caitlin Doughty

With humor and compassion, a young licensed mortician demystifies the topic that none of us can avoid. Our nonfiction judges describe Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as a "pitch-perfect meditation," "hilarious and thought-provoking," and, pardon the pun, "dead-on smart." Read more from our judges here

Book Cover Image. Title: Untamed:  The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island, Author: Will Harlan

Untamed

Will Harlan

As much a study of a changing community and all its inhabitants - human and animal - as it is a biography of a fearless, self-taught scientist (who knows more about sea turtles than most experts) and the lengths she'll go to protect what she believes in. Read more from our judges on this "beautiful paradox of a book."