Here are the winners of the New England Book Awards 2022


The two books won fiction and non-fiction respectively.

  • Q&A: Morgan Talty on his book “Night of the Living Rez”

  • From the book: ‘Night of the Living Rez’ by Morgan Talty

A collection of related stories set in Maine and a memoir in essays about growing up in Massachusetts won a big prize at the 2022 New England Book Awards on Thursday night.

Morgan Talty’s “Night of the Living Rez” won the top prize for fiction, while Isaac Fitzgerald’s “Dirtbag, Massachusetts” won the nonfiction prize.

Talty’s book, his first work of fiction, was published in July and features a series of 12 related stories, set in Maine on the Penobscot Indian Nation. The stories illustrate with amazing compassion the lives of families struggling with economic insecurity, mental illness, addiction and trauma.

“Thank you all for the love and support! It means the world to me! Talty wrote on Twitter.

  • Q&A: Isaac Fitzgerald on his memoir “Dirtbag, Massachusetts”

  • From the book: “Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald

In his first memoir, also published in July, Fitzgerald delves into his childhood — growing up in a Boston homeless shelter and in rural Massachusetts — and the years that followed. In the series of essays, he examines ideas of home, security and belonging, reflecting on his life experiences, ranging from his job as a bartender in San Francisco to his relationship with the Catholic Church.

“HUGE congratulations to all the nominees and winners! Fitzgerald wrote. “And thank you (thank you thank you thank you) independent booksellers of New England! Your support – and this award – means the world to me.

The winners of the 2022 New England Book Awards were announced at the New England Independent Booksellers Association’s fall conference on Thursday evening in Providence, Rhode Island.

Below is the full list of winners and runners-up in each of the award’s book categories:


Winner: “Night of the Living Rez” by Morgan Talty


  • “Babel” by RF Kuang
  • “Ben and Beatriz” by Katalina Gamarra
  • “Kaikeyi” by Vaishnavi Patel
  • “Kids on the Hill” by Jennifer McMahon


Winner: “Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald


  • “Another Appalachia” by Neema Avashia
  • “The Dark Ghost of Empire” by Kris Manjapra
  • “Breaking Bread” edited by Debra Spark and Deborah Joy Corey
  • “Civil Rights Queen” by Tomiko Brown-Nagin


Winner: “Such Color” by Tracy K. Smith


  • Cutlish by Rajiv Mohabir
  • “Dream of the Divided Field” by Yanyi
  • “The Curious Thing” by Sandra Lim
  • “What Else Is Infinite” by Bianca Stone

young adult

Winner: “Squire” by Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh


  • Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells
  • “Deep in Providence” by Riss M. Neilson
  • “Underpants” by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya
  • “The Name She Gave Me” door Betty Culley

Intermediate level

Winner: “Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor” by Xiran Jay Zhao


  • “Anyone here seen Frenchie?” by Leslie Connor
  • “A Wish Comb” by Lisa Stringfellow
  • Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee
  • “Wingbearer” by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Teny Issakhanian

children’s book

Winner: “Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story” by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry and Alexis Bunten, illustrated by Gary Meeches Sr.


  • “Big Truck, Small Island” by Chris Van Dusen
  • “Firsts & Lasts: The Changing Seasons” by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Clover Robin
  • “What Isabella Wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner Builds a Museum” by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Matt Cordell
  • “When Langston Dances” by Kaija Langly, illustrated by Keith Mallett


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