Books on shelves at USC’s ONE Archives

Winners were announced in 12 competitive categories, plus three special honors. (USC Photo/Greg Hernandez)


L.A. Times Book Prize winners named in ceremony at Bovard Auditorium

The prizes were presented the evening before the L.A. Times Festival of Books on the USC University Park Campus.

April 20, 2024 By USC News staff

The annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners were announced Friday night in a ceremony at Bovard Auditorium on the USC University Campus. The ceremony serves as a kickoff to Saturday and Sunday’s L.A. Times Festival of Books at USC, the largest literary and cultural festival in the nation.

Winners were announced in 12 competitive categories, plus three special honors. Here are the nominees and winners, as originally published in the Times.

Achievement in Audiobook Production

Winner: Dion Graham, narrator, and Elishia Merricks, producer, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir

Other nominees:

  • Maria Bamford and Mike Noble, Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere
  • Sophia Bush, Helena De Groot and Kerri Kolen, Wild and Precious: A Celebration of Mary Oliver
  • Helen Laser and Suzanne Franco Mitchell, Yellowface
  • Adam Lazarre-White and Elishia Merricks, All the Sinners Bleed

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Winner: Shannon Sanders, Company: Stories

Other nominees:

  • Stephen Buoro, The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa: A Novel
  • Sheena Patel, I’m a Fan: A Novel
  • James Frankie Thomas, Idlewild: A Novel
  • Ghassan Zeineddine, Dearborn


Winner: Gregg Hecimovich, The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of The Bondwoman’s Narrative

Other nominees:

  • Leah Redmond Chang, Young Queens: Three Renaissance Women and the Price of Power
  • Jonny Steinberg, Winnie and Nelson: Portrait of a Marriage
  • Elizabeth R. Varon, Longstreet: The Confederate General Who Defied the South
  • David Waldstreicher, The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet’s Journeys Through American Slavery and Independence

The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose

Winner: Claire Dederer, Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma

Current Interest

Winner: Roxanna Asgarian, We Were Once A Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America

Other nominees:

  • Bettina L. Love, Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal
  • Zusha Elinson, American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15
  • Cameron McWhirter, American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15
  • Christina Sharpe, Ordinary Notes
  • Raja Shehadeh, We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir


Winner: Ed Park, Same Bed Different Dreams: A Novel

Other nominees:

  • Susie Boyt, Loved and Missed
  • Yiyun Li, Wednesday’s Child: Stories
  • Elizabeth McKenzie, The Dog of the North: A Novel
  • Justin Torres, Blackouts: A Novel

Graphic Novel/Comics

Winner: Emily Carroll, A Guest in the House

Other nominees:

  • Derek M. Ballard, Cartoonshow
  • Matías Bergara, CODA
  • Sammy Harkham, Blood of the Virgin
  • Chantal Montellier, Social Fiction
  • Simon Spurrier, CODA


Winner: Joya Chatterji, Shadows at Noon: The South Asian Twentieth Century

Other nominees:

  • Ned Blackhawk, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History
  • Malcolm Harris, Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World
  • Blair L.M. Kelley, Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class
  • Nikki M. Taylor, Brooding Over Bloody Revenge: Enslaved Women’s Lethal Resistance

Innovator’s Award

Winner: Access Books


Winner: Ivy Pochoda, Sing Her Down: A Novel

Other nominees:

  • Lou Berney, Dark Ride: A Thriller
  • A. Cosby, All the Sinners Bleed: A Novel
  • Jordan Harper, Everybody Knows: A Novel
  • Cheryl A. Head, Time’s Undoing: A Novel


Winner: Airea D. Matthews, Bread and Circus: Poems

Other nominees:

  • Iver, Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco
  • Maggie Millner, Couplets: A Love Story
  • Jenny Molberg, The Court of No Record: Poems
  • Simon Shieh, Master: Poems

Robert Kirsch Award

Winner: Jane Smiley

Science & Technology

Winner: Eugenia Cheng, Is Math Real? How Simple Questions Lead Us to Mathematics’ Deepest Truths

Other nominees:

  • Jeff Goodell, The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet
  • Jaime Green, The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos
  • Caspar Henderson, A Book of Noises: Notes on the Auraculous
  • Zach Weinersmith, A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?
  • Kelly Weinersmith, A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction

Winner: Tananarive Due, The Reformatory: A Novel

Other nominees:

  • Daniel Kraus, Whalefall
  • Victor LaValle, Lone Women: A Novel
  • E. Schwab, The Fragile Threads of Power
  • Lily Yu, Jewel Box: Stories

Young Adult Literature

Winner: Amber McBride, Gone Wolf

Other nominees:

  • Jennifer Baker, Forgive Me Not
  • Olivia A. Cole, Dear Medusa
  • Kim Johnson, Invisible Son
  • Sarah Myer, Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story