Jill Leovy Wins 2016 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism
Congratulations to journalist Jill Leovy, winner of The New York Public Library’s 2016 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for her groundbreaking work, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America. Her book evaluates and brings new insights to the country’s murder epidemic and the long-standing plague of black homicide. Focusing on the murder of one young black man in South Los Angeles and the team of detectives investigating the crime, Ghettoside addresses broad issues of history, race, violence and justice.
Ghettoside was one of five finalists for the Bernstein Award selected by an eight-member Library Review Committee, which received and read over 85 nominations from publishers. Congratulations to all our outstanding finalists for their extraordinary work.
The winner was chosen by a separate Bernstein Selection Committee, chaired by James Hoge and announced at a reception at the Library on May 18, 2016. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was acclaimed New York Times journalist Kim Barker, whose book Taliban Shuffle was turned into a movie starring Tina Fey earlier this year.
View the photo gallery of the event and read the press release. Learn more about the 2016 finalists and listen to interviews.
Since 1988 the annual award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, has been given to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies. Previous winners of the award include Anand Giridharadas, Dan Fagin, Katherine Boo, Ellen E. Schultz, Shane Harris, David Finkel and Jane Mayer.
The Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism was established through a gift from Joseph Frank Bernstein, in honor of journalist Helen Bernstein Fealy. The family has also endowed the position of Helen Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals & Journals, who curates The New York Public Library’s internationally-renowned Periodicals collection—one of the largest collections of past and present newspapers, magazines, and more in the world. The position is currently held by librarian Karen Gisonny.