The poet and recent Columbus transplant earned the prestigious honor for his debut memoir, 'How We Fight for Our Lives'
Kirkus Reviews, an Austin-based book review magazine, announced the winners of the sixth annual Kirkus Prize on Thursday, including recent Columbus transplant Saeed Jones, who took top honors in nonfiction for his debut memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives.
The book, which details Jones' sometimes tumultuous early years and his loving, complicated relationships with family members, in particular his late mother, was released earlier this month to generally rapturous reviews (and a lengthy Alive feature). Of the work, the judges said in a statement, "Like the best of memoirs, Jones's is a journey of exploration, discovery and reassurance."
On Twitter, Jones celebrated the news with a simple dedication to his mother, writing, "Mama, we made it."
Other winners this year included Colson Whitehead, who took top honors for fiction with his novel Nickel Boys, and author/illustrator Jerry Craft for young readers' literature with New Kid.
Winners were selected from the 1,264 titles that received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews over the past year, and each receives a cash prize of $50,000.