The New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has selected Americanah by Chimanada Ngozi Adidie as the winner of its inaugural “One Book, One New York” program. As part of the program, New Yorkers will be encouraged to read the book and participate in a slate of free open-to-the-public events over the next few months. Penguin Random House will donate an additional 500 copies to the city’s public libraries, on top of the 1,000 donated at the contest’s launch, to help provide access to the winning book. Additionally, a free audiobook version is available through Scribd through June 2017.
Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment commissioner Julie Menin said of the program, “It has been nothing short of electrifying to see all of the excitement building around this campaign, and we look forward to an incredible series of events and discussions throughout the City in the months to come.” Adidie says in the announcement, “I hope you enjoy Americanah – which I like to think of as a book about love, immigration, race, hair, and so much more. It’s an honor to be a part of this effort.”
In other city celebrations of literature, the schedule has been announced for the big Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, taking place on April 22 and 23. MacArthur Fellow Rueben Martinez will be given the Innovator’s Award at the LAT Book Prizes the night before the festival, recognized “for work that honors the contribution of Latino writers while showing that books are an essential part of all our lives.”
In other awards news, The Bookseller announced nominations across a robust 23 categories for the expanded and renamed British Book Awards, honoring both the business itself as well as notable books.