Barnes & Noble Discover Award Finalists Selected

February 5, 2010

Since 1990, a group of Barnes & Noble booksellers has met seasonally to select the best forthcoming new work by debuting and under-appreciated writers. Chosen solely on the basis of literary merit, these exceptional books are promoted throughout Barnes & Noble. Then each spring, a group of distinguished literary jurists name two outstanding writers (one each in fiction and nonfiction) from the previous year’s Discover picks for a career-changing prize — the Discover Award.

This year’s judges for the Fiction panel:

Stewart O’Nan–who was “discovered” by B&N for his debut novel, Snow Angels, published in 1994. He has since written 11 novels, including Last Night at the Lobster, The Good Wife, The Night Country, Wish You Were Here, A Prayer for the Dying, and his latest, Songs for the Missing, two works of nonfiction, and a screenplay on the life of Edgar Allan Poe.

Kathryn Harrison–who was “discovered” for her novel, Thicker Than Water, published in 1991. She has published five additional novels including Envy, The Seal Wife, and The Binding Chair, two memoirs, The Mother Knot and The Kiss, a travel memoir about the Camino de Santiago, a biography of Saint Therese of Lisieux, and a collection of personal essays, Seeking Rapture.

David Schickler–who was “discovered” for his work of debut fiction, Kissing in Manhattan, published in 2001. He published a second work of fiction in 2004, Sweet and Vicious. A graduate of the Columbia University MFA program, his work as appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Travel & Leisure.

Judges for the Non-Fiction panel:

Rachel Simon–who was actually “discovered” by B&N twice — a rare mistake, and one that also occurred with Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. Simon’s 1994 debut novel, The Magic Touch caught B&N’s attention first, and again when she published her first memoir, Riding the Bus with My Sister, eight years later. Last year, she published a new memoir, Building A Home with My Husband.

Lee Martin— who was “discovered” for the compelling memoir of his boyhood, From Our House, published in 2000. He has since penned another memoir, Turning the Bones, a short-story collection, The Least You Need to Know, and two novels, Quakertown, and The Bright Forever, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Martin directs the creative writing program at Ohio State University.

Danielle Trussoni–who was “discovered” for Falling Through the Earth, her acclaimed memoir about her childhood as the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, and which the New York Times named one of the best books of 2006. Trussoni is publishing her first novel, Angelology, in March.

The 2009 Fiction Finalists:

More of This World or Maybe Another by Barb Johnson
Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato
All the Living by C.E. Morgan

The 2009 Non-Fiction Finalists:

Columbine by Dave Cullen
The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America Its Name by Toby Lester
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir by Neil White

The winners in each category receive a $10,000 prize and a year of additional promotion in B&N stores. Second-place finalists receive $5,000, and third-place finalists take home $2,500. Winners will be announced March 3.


3 Responses to “Barnes & Noble Discover Award Finalists Selected”

  1. Dave Cullen Says:

    Thanks for that info. It’s very nice to see how the judging process works.

    I was excited and honored to hear they had picked me as a finalist for COLUMBINE.

  2. Essex Library Says:

    Thanks Dave! Our patrons have been reading Columbine ever since it hit our shelves. If you’re ever in the area–Connecticut shoreline, we’d love to host an author talk with you. Good luck with the Awards!

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