‘Invisible Child’ wins $50,000 Gotham Book Prize

NEW YORK (AP) — Andrea Elliott’s “Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City,” an in-depth portrait of New York and the struggles and achievements of a Black girl from Brooklyn, has won the Gotham Book Prize for outstanding works about the city.

Elliott, whose book expands upon her investigative series which ran in The New York Times in 2013, will receive $50,000.

“I often felt during the years of reporting this book that New York City was a central character in the story” she said during a recent interview. “Any New Yorker knows this is many cities in one city. But I think ‘Invisible Child’ also shows it’s one city.”

Earlier this week, “Invisible Child” received the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, a $15,000 honor presented by the New York Public Library.

The Gotham Prize was established in 2020 by businessman-philanthropist Bradley Tusk and political strategist Howard Wolfson, who are funding the award themselves and have committed to it for at least 10 years. James McBride’s novel “Deacon King Kong,” set in Brooklyn in the late 1960s, won the prize in 2021.

“Last year, the jury picked an outstanding novel but one that could have come out at any time,” Tusk and Wolfson said in a statement Wednesday. “By picking ‘Invisible Child,’ the jury not only showed its willingness to embrace nonfiction, it also clearly wanted to add a spotlight to the extremely difficult issue of homelessness, which has gotten even worse over the past several years. We’re hopeful that Andrea’s success here incentivizes other writers to go deep into the public policy issues that matter so much to our city.”

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