Literary awards season continues with Windham-Campbell Prize winners and Lambda Literary Award finalists

Suzan-Lori Parks, winner of a Windham-Campbell Prize, and Roxane Gay, finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times /Jay Grabiec)

Literary awards season is in full swing and continued this week with the announcements of the winners of the Windham-Campbell Prize and finalists for the 30th annual Lambda Literary Awards.

On Wednesday, Yale University announced the eight winners of the Windham-Campbell Prizes, which were first awarded in 2013. Each prize comes with a $165,000 grant.

This year’s winners include American playwrights Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”) and Lucas Hnath (“Red Speedo”) and British nonfiction writers Sarah Bakewell (“At the Existentialist Cafe”) and Olivia Laing (“The Lonely City”).


The winners for fiction were American author John Keene (“Annotations”) and Ugandan novelist Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (“Kintu”). Taking home the prizes for poetry were Jamaican Lorna Goodison (“Supplying Salt and Light”) and American Cathy Park Hong (“Engine Empire”).

The Windham-Campbell Prizes are among the most lucrative in the world. Previous recipients include Jim Crace, Aminatta Forna, Teju Cole and Hilton Als.

On Tuesday, Lambda Literary revealed the finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards, which are given each year to LGBTQ-themed books. The prizes are presented in 23 categories, with a varying number of nominees in each one.

Notable finalists this year include Roxane Gay, in two categories: her short story collection “Difficult Women” in lesbian fiction, and in the bisexual nonfiction category, her hit memoir “Hunger.” Another lesbian fiction finalist is Carmen Maria Machado for her celebrated debut short story collection, “Her Body and Other Parties,” which is was a finalist for the National Book Award and is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times first fiction award.

John Rechy, the author of “City of Night” and the winner of this year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prize Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, is a finalist in the gay fiction category for his latest novel, “After the Blue Hour,” along with French writer Édouard Louis, a finalist for “The End of Eddy.”

Other notable nominees include Jennifer Finney Boylan for “Long Black Veil” (transgender fiction), Danez Smith for “Don’t Call Us Dead” (gay poetry), Eileen Myles for “Afterglow” (lesbian memoir/biography) and Alan Bennett for “Keeping On Keeping On” (gay memoir/biography). The winners of the Lambda awards will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on June 4.