Barnes & Noble Announces the Winners of the 27th Annual Discover Awards

Press Release

Patty Yumi Cottrell and Jessica Bruder Are the 2017 Discover Great New Writers Award Winners

New York, New York – March 7, 2018 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller, today announced that Patty Yumi Cottrell’s Sorry to Disrupt the Peace (McSweeney’s), a darkly comic debut novel about a young woman seeking an explanation for her adoptive brother’s suicide, and Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (W.W. Norton), a finely reported narrative that follows a new generation of itinerant workers, are the winners of the 2017 Discover Awards for fiction and nonfiction, respectively. Each writer was awarded a cash prize of $30,000 and a full year of marketing and merchandising support from Barnes & Noble. 

Second-place winners are Megan Hunter for The End We Start From (Grove/Atlantic), a poetic parable of new motherhood, and Leah Carroll for Down City: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Memory and Murder (Grand Central Publishing), an unforgettable memoir that turns to gritty 1980s Providence, Rhode Island, to tell her tragic—and uplifting—family story. Each writer was awarded a $15,000 cash prize.

Third place was awarded to Lisa Ko for her National Book Award-nominated novel, The Leavers (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), a powerful story of parents and children and how the bond between them are tested, and Michael Twitty for The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South (Amistad Books), a remarkable culinary history that is also part memoir and part detective story. Each writer received a $7,500 cash prize.

The awards were presented this afternoon at a private ceremony in New York City.

The Discover Great New Writers Awards are presented annually in recognition of literary excellence. The six finalists for the Discover Great New Writers Awards were chosen by two panels of noted authors from the 52 titles handpicked by our booksellers for the Discover Great New Writers program in 2017.

Books by the finalists and judges can be purchased at any Barnes & Noble store nationwide, online at Barnes & ( or instantly downloaded on any NOOK® eReader or tablet.

The Judges

Two panels of distinguished literary judges selected the winners.  Serving as this year’s fiction judges are:

Lauren Groff, the author of four books, including Fates and Furies, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her fifth book, Florida, is forthcoming in June. In 2017, she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists.

Tayari Jones, author of the newest Oprah Book Club selection, An American Marriage, as well as the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling and Silver Sparrow, which the National Endowment for the Arts added to the Big Read Library of classics in 2016.

David L. Ulin, author or editor of ten books, including Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. He was previously a book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times.

This year’s nonfiction judges are:

Dana Goodyear, a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of two collections of poetry, Honey and Junk and The Oracle of Hollywood Boulevard, and Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture, a 2013 Discover pick.

Rob Sheffield, a columnist for Rolling Stone, where he has been writing about music, TV, and pop culture since 1997. He is the bestselling author of five books, including Love Is a Mix Tape (a 2007 Discover pick) and Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World.

Darin Strauss, author of the acclaimed novels Chang & Eng (a 2000 Discover pick), The Real McCoy, and More Than It Hurts You, and the award-winning memoir Half a Life. His next novel, The Queen of Tuesday, will be published in 2019.

Previous Winners of the Discover Awards

Previous winners of the annual Discover Awards include: Abby Geni for The Lightkeepers and Matthew Desmond for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (both 2016); Mia Alvar for In the Country: Stories and Jill Leovy for Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (both 2015); Cheryl Strayed for Wild (2012); David Sheff for Beautiful Boy (2008); Ben Fountain for Brief Encounters with Che Guevara (2006); Uzodinma Iweala for Beasts of No Nation (2005); Alison Smith for Name All the Animals (2004); Anthony Doerr for The Shell Collector; Elizabeth McCracken for The Giant’s House (1996); and Chang-rae Lee for Native Speaker (1995).

Additional information about the 2017 Discover Award winners and judges can be found at

The Discover Great New Writers Program

The Discover Great New Writers program (, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2015, was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality that our booksellers believe readers won’t want to miss. Titles are handpicked for their indelible narrative voices, powerful storytelling and gorgeous prose. Many of the writers previously selected for the program have gone on to become household names.

For more information on the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, please visit, or ask one of the knowledgeable booksellers at Barnes & Noble’s 632 stores nationwide.

All Contacts

Shannon DeVito

Senior Director, Book Strategy & Customer Experience

Barnes & Noble, Inc.

About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is the world’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.  The Company operates 630 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, (  The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4.5 million digital books in the US (, plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps available for Android, iOS® and Windows®.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company's corporate website at

Barnes & Noble®, Barnes & Noble Booksellers® and Barnes &® are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. or its affiliates. NOOK® and the NOOK logos are trademarks of Nook Digital, LLC or its affiliates.

For more information on Barnes & Noble, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat (bnsnaps), and like us on Facebook. For more information on NOOK, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.