Richard Ford and Timothy Egan were named winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence at the American Library Assn.'s national conference on Sunday night. This is the second year of the awards.
The fiction citation went to Ford for his novel "Canada." The Pulitzer Prize-winning author grew up in Jackson, Miss., where his local library was important to him. "I got an introduction there to what books were, why books were important," Ford said in a statement.
Egan took the nonfiction award for "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher," his biography of photographer Edward Curtis, who was famous for his photographs of Native Americans. Curtis recently told the New York Times, "Libraries, in many ways, are the keepers of our stories."
Ford and Egan each will receive $5,000.
There were two semifinalists in each category: "This Is How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz and "The Round House" by Louise Erdrich in fiction, and "The Mansion of Happiness" by Jill Lepore and "Spillover" by David Quammen. Those authors will receive $1,500.
The Carnegie medals for adult fiction and nonfiction were established in 2012. Like similar awards for children's books, the books that win Carnegie Medals and are finalists can later bear medallions on their covers.