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Authors Honored With Brooklyn Public Library's New Literary Prize

 The Brooklyn Public Library recently awarded the
The Brooklyn Public Library recently awarded the "Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize" to a shortlist of six books by Brooklyn authors or addressing themes "relevant to its life and culture."
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BROOKLYN — Settle in for the winter with a hyperlocal booklist from a bevy of Brooklyn’s literary finest.

For the first time, the Brooklyn Public Library honored six books and authors with the newly-created “Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize” which recognizes works from Brooklyn authors and those that “portrayed the borough in prose or addressed themes relevant to its life and culture” from the past year, the library said.

The six winners on the list — three non-fiction and three fiction — were selected by a panel of award-winning editors and writers from the area who chose the top books from a selection curated by Brooklyn librarians and bookstores. The award was announced Sunday evening at the library's annual fundraiser, the Brooklyn Classic.

Check out the winners below to find some new reading material from your favorite borough:

Fiction winner:

► "Preparation for the Next Life," Atticus Lish

This is the story of a Chinese Muslim woman of the Uighur tribe making her way to New York City via Mexico, where she meets a PTSD-afflicted Iraq War veteran in the restaurant that hires her. The chair of the prize’s fiction committee, Ashley Mihlebach, called the book an “utterly original voice in American literature.”

Nonfiction winner:

► "The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the 21st Century," DW Gibson

This is the story of “gentrification in the twenty-first century,” told through oral histories from people inside and outside the real estate boom in New York, primarily in Brooklyn. The chair of the nonfiction committee for the prize said Gibson’s book is a good starting point “to think through a complex and difficult subject.”

Shortlist, fiction:

► "Delicious Foods," James Hannaman

This “brutal yet compassionately rendered” novel tells the story of a mother trying to escape addiction to reunite with her son, Eddie, the library said. The drug she’s addicted to — crack — becomes a character itself and narrates some of the chapters.

► "Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel," Anya Ulinich

This “darkly comic” graphic novel follows the path of Lena Finkle, who enters the world of grown-up dating when her fifteen-year marriage ends, and deals and "examines with frank honesty the challenges of parenting and dating in Brooklyn,” as the library describes it.

Shortlist, nonfiction:

► "The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled off the Spectacle of the Century," Claire Prentice

Prentice tells the tale of a dark time in Brooklyn’s history when Phillippine tribespeople were displayed as part of a sideshow attraction in Coney Island. The book is described by the library as “an absorbing look at a disturbing and nearly forgotten story from America's sideshow past.”

► "I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son," Kent Russell

This essay collection from Brooklyn writer Russell deals with subjects as diverse as Amish baseball players, soldiers in Afghanistan and his own ex-Marine father. The nonfiction shortlist committee chair Amy Mikel described it as “a bold, mesmerizing collection.”