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

Andrea Elliott’s Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City, an in-depth portrait of New York City and the struggles and achievements of a black girl from Brooklyn, won the Gotham Book Prize for outstanding work on the city.

Elliott, whose book expands on his investigative series published in The New York Times in 2013, will receive $50,000.

“I often felt during the years of reporting on this book that New York City was a central character in the story,” she said in a recent interview. “Any New Yorker knows that there are many cities in one city. But I think ‘Invisible Child’ also shows that 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 and philanthropist Bradley Tusk and political strategist Howard Wolfson, who fund the prize themselves and have been committed to it for at least 10 years. James McBride’s novel ‘Deacon King Kong’, set in Brooklyn in the late 1960s, won the award in 2021.

“Last year, the jury chose a novel that was outstanding but could have come out at any time,” Tusk and Wolfson said in a statement Wednesday. “By choosing ‘Invisible Child’, the jury not only showed their willingness to embrace non-fiction, but they also clearly wanted to shine a light on the extremely difficult problem of homelessness, which has become even more serious in recent years. We hope Andrea’s success here will inspire other writers to delve into the public policy issues that matter so much to our city.

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