Winners announced for the 26th Audie Awards
Earlier this year, the finalists for the 2021 Audie Awards were announced by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). The APA recognized the winners at the 26th Audie Awards gala, which was staged virtually and hosted by actor John Leguizamo.
During his opening monologue Leguizamo commented: “I’m proud to host this show. The diversity that I see among our nominees: women, the LGBTQ community, my Latinx brothers and sisters, and overall, so, so many people of color. The audiobook industry has achieved a level of inclusivity and representation that other industries can only aspire to.”
Author Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi—read by British actor and filmmaker Chiwetel Ejiofor—took the Audiobook of the Year award. Discussing the win, one of the judges—author Jennifer Egan—said, “The reading is a triumph of tone….one of the best readings of contemporary literature that I have ever listened to.” Another judge—author Tommy Orange—noted that “When the book got darker and more thrilling, and as the mystery at the center of the novel was revealed, Chiwetel Ejiofor moved the story along beautifully.”
Here’s a list of all of the winners.
Winner: Audiobook of the Year
Read by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Piranesi is the latest novel from the best-selling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It’s the story of Piranesi, a man who lives a simple life in his labyrinthine house, visited only by The Other, who leads Piranesi into an exploration that reveals a world he never dreamed of. Madeline Miller said of it, “Piranesi astonished me. It is a miraculous and luminous feat of storytelling, at once a gripping mystery, an adventure through a brilliant new fantasy world, and a deep meditation on the human condition: feeling lost, and being found.”
Read by Nicole Lewis, Such a Fun Age marked the debut of Kiley Reid. According to Amazon Editorial Director, Sarah Gelman, “Such a Fun Age will make you uncomfortable, enlighten you, and make you laugh—likely all at once.” When the security guard in a high-end supermarket accuses Emira, a Black, 25-year-old nanny, of kidnapping her charge, a white, blonde toddler named Briar, Emira’s appalled employer, Alix, vows to make things right. But Emira is leary of Alix and her motives. Skewering race, privilege, millennials, and the white savior complex, Such a Fun Age was one of the most buzzed about books of 2020.
Read by T. Ryder Smith, Fire in Paradise tells the story of a fire that took place in the small town of Paradise, California on November 8, 2018. In just one day, the town—population: 27,000—was consumed by the devastating Camp Fire, which razed almost every home in town and killed at least 85 people. Journalists Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano interviewed hundreds of residents, firefighters, and scientific experts to learn more about this terrifying, unprecedented natural disaster.
Peter Giles and Zach Villa read this fast-paced story about a reporter, Jack McEvoy, who is drawn into a search to find the person who killed a woman Jack spent a night with months earlier. But the more he investigates, the clearer it becomes that this murder was no isolated incident.
Winner: Science fiction
Read by Daveed Diggs, The Deep was inspired by a song created for an episode of This American Life by Diggs’ rap group Clipping. The novella tells the story of an underwater society populated by the descendants of African slave women thrown overboard from slave ships.
Winner: Spanish language
FROM THE PUBLISHER: Tras un largo recorrido entre pantanos, Ofelia conoce al hombre que será su padrastro, un despiadado capitán del ejército español. Para él, el inquietante y oscuro bosque donde viven es como una jaula, que tan solo sirve de escondite para los combatientes de la resistencia en la interminable y sangrienta guerra civil. Pero Ofelia está embelesada con su mágico hogar.
The rest of the winners at a glance:
Literary Fiction & Classics: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (Read by Yetide Badaki and Chukwudi Iwuji) Middle Grade: The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliott (Read by Gary Furlong and Fiona Hardingham) Multi-voiced performance: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Read by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte) Romance: Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward (Read by Andi Arndt and Jacob Morgan) Young Adult: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Read by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte) Young Listeners (up to age 8): The Overground Railroad by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Read by Shayna Small and Dion Graham)