Christy Lefteri's novel of the Syrian refugee crisis won the third annual award, which doles out $35,000 for fiction that illuminates a pressing social issue.
The annual award, doled out in partnership with NPR, honors fiction that doesn't shy from grappling with thorny social issues. Just one of the five books remaining will win $35,000 come April.
Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson's book won the Caldecott, the top prize for picture books, and Jerry Craft's novel won the Newbery for kids' books.
The novelist and poet joined Sarah M. Broom, László Krasznahorkai, Ottilie Mulzet, and Martin W. Sandler as winners Wednesday night — receiving $10,000 and a medallion for their front covers.
The literary prize, which honors fiction that tackles tough social issues, has announced a longlist of 16 titles. The nominees for the $35,000 prize include some big names and plenty of debuts.
The shortlists this year include Marlon James, Susan Choi, Carolyn Forché, Jason Reynolds and more than two dozen other authors and translators. Winners in five categories will be unveiled next month.
Colson Whitehead and Marlon James headline the longlists of names in contention for the literary prize. Altogether, 50 books across five categories stand a chance at winning in November.
Atwood made the list for her sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, and Rushdie for his reimagining of Don Quixote. Chigozie Obioma, Elif Shafak, Lucy Ellmann and Bernardine Evaristo round out the finalists.
An American Marriage won the nearly $40,000 award, once known as the Orange Prize, at a ceremony Tuesday in London. "We all loved this brilliant book," the judges said.
Prize Administrator Dana Canedy is stepping behind the lectern Monday to deliver good news to distinguished journalists, authors, musicians, scholars and others ranging across 21 categories.