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Jesmyn Ward’s ‘Let Us Descend’ is among the finalists for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence

NEW YORK (AP) — Jesmyn Ward’s slave narrative “Let Us Descend” and Jake Bittle’s exploration of climate change’s impact “The Great Displacement” are among the finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence.

The medals are presented by the American Library Association and given for fiction and nonfiction, with winners in each category receiving $5,000.

On Tuesday, the library association announced that Ward’s novel was a fiction nominee, along with Amanda Peters’ “The Berry Pickers” and the mixed media “Denison Avenue,” by author Christina Wong and illustrator Daniel Innes.

In nonfiction, the finalists are Bittle’s “The Great Displacement,” Darrin Bell’s memoir “The Talk” and Roxana Robinson’s investigation into the foster system, “We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America.”

Finalists will be announced Jan. 20. The awards, made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, were established in 2012. Previous winners include James McBride, Jennifer Egan and Matthew Desmond.

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