Greater Boston writers Matthew Desmond, Susan Faludi, Adam Haslett, and Amor Towles have been selected as finalists for this year’s Kirkus Prize.
Towles, who lives in New York but was born and raised in suburban Boston, is one of six writers in the fiction category. His book “A Gentleman in Moscow” tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov, an aristocrat sentenced to house arrest by the Bolsheviks after composing a controversial poem in the 1920s.
Haslett, who was born in Kingston and grew up in England and Wellesley, was nominated for his novel “Imagine Me Gone,” which traces a woman and her emotionally troubled fiance starting in 1960s London and through the decades as they marry and raise a family.
Other fiction finalists include Joe McGinniss Jr. (“Carousel Court”), C.E. Morgan (“The Sport of Kings”), Annie Proulx (“Barkskins”), and Colson Whitehead (“The Underground Railroad”).
Desmond and Faludi make up a third of the nonfiction finalists, with “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” and “In the Darkroom,” respectively. Desmond, a Harvard University professor, drew from years of research to write “Evicted,” which follows eight poor Milwaukee families as they struggle to keep their homes and are forced into shelters, run-down apartments, and dangerous neighborhoods. “In the Darkroom” grapples with identity after Faludi, a Cambridge resident and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, discovers that her estranged father has undergone sex reassignment surgery.
Other finalists in the nonfiction category include Sarah Bakewell (“At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails With Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others”), Michael Eric Dyson (“The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America”), Beth Macy (“Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest”), and J.D. Vance (“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”).
Finalists in the young readers’ literature category include Sherman Alexie and illustrator Yuyi Morales (“Thunder Boy Jr.”), Ashley Bryan (“Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life”), Traci Chee (“The Reader”), Russell Freedman (“We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler”), Meg Medina (“Burn Baby Burn”), and Jason Reynolds (“As Brave as You”).
Winners, who will win a prize of $50,000, will be announced Nov. 3.Sonia Rao can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.