Medici Book Club Prize

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The mission of the Medici Book Club Prize is to recognize a distinguished work of fiction that has inspired thoughtful conversation and contributed to a deeper understanding of the human experience. The $5,000 award is the first annual national prize given to acknowledge the tremendous impact that book club selections have on readers. The Medici Book Club Prize is awarded each year at the Beverly Hills Literary Escape.

The Medici Book Club Prize nominees are selected by an advisory council which includes nationally celebrated book group coordinator and founder of the Beverly Hills Literary Escape, Julie Robinson; three judges annually who have written and published respected works of literature; and the Medici Founding Patrons.

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The Medici Book Club Prize is generously funded by the individual contributions of our Medici Founding Patrons. We graciously acknowledge their support of literature and of individual writers as artists.

Alexis Deutsch-AdlerLinleigh Richker
Helaine BlattLinda Rosman
Laurie EmberRina Scott
Nancy JacobyJoanne Solov
Kim Allen-NiesenLaura Strauss


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Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States when she was seven years old. She grew up in Queens, New York. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she studied history at Yale College, then received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. After practicing for two years, she began writing full time. She lived in New York with her husband and son until 2007 then spent several years in Japan, researching and writing her second novel Pachinko. She lives in New York with her family.

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award and on numerous “Top 10 Books of the Year” lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, BBC, and the New York Public Library. A New York Times bestseller, Pachinko was on over 75 “Best Books of the Year” lists globally, including NPR, PBS, CNN, Financial Times, New Statesman, and The Irish Times. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires was a “Top 10 Books of the Year” for The Times, NPR’s Fresh Air and USA Today.  Her short fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and One Story. Her writings about global affairs, books, travel, and food have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary SupplementConde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Wall Street Journal, and Food & Wine.  She served as a columnist for The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s leading newspaper for three seasons. She received the Guggenheim Fellowship (Fiction), the NYFA Fellowship (Fiction), the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer. Lee is currently researching and writing her third novel, American Hagwon, which explores the role of education for Koreans around the world for her diaspora trilogy “The Koreans,” which includes, Free Food for Millionaires (2007) and Pachinko (2017).

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is the author of seven previous novels, including After ThisChild of My HeartCharming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; At Weddings and Wakes; and Someone ― all published by FSG. That NightAt Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe New YorkerHarper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.


Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie is the author of several previous novels, including Broken Verses and Burnt Shadows. Her novel Home Fire  won the 2018 Orange Prize, an award which Kamila has twice been a finalist for. She has been a finalist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, among other honors, and has been named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was raised in Karachi and lives in London.

Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. The most recent, Improvement, is the winner of the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was listed as one of the year’s best books by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, The Seattle Times, and Kirkus Reviews. Her previous book, Fools, was long-listed for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She lives in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

Luis Alberto Urrea

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction The Devil’s Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea is also the bestselling author of the novels The Hummingbird’s Daughter,Into the Beautiful North, and Queen of America, as well as the story collections The Water Museum, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, and the Strauss Living Prize. She is the winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.