Sure, it’s a cliche to say it’s an honor to just be nominated for something. So that makes me a cliche-monger, I guess, because it really is an honor for “The Race Underground” to be nominated for the very prestigious Kirkus Prize in non-fiction. I was thrilled to get a starred review from Kirkus when the book came out and so that review leads to the nomination (winners will be announced in October).
This is what Kirkus said in its review: It’s a story of blizzards and fires, accidental gas explosions and dynamite blasts, of trenches tortuously dug, of sewer and water pipes rerouted and cemeteries excavated, of political infighting, of turnstiles and ticket-taking, of ingenious solutions to staggering problems. Inventor Frank Sprague, who perfected the electric motor, financier August Belmont, crusading New York Mayor Abram Hewitt and engineer William Barclay Parsons also play prominent roles in this colorful Gilded Age saga.
An almost flawlessly conducted tour back to a time when major American cities dreamed big.
Whatever happens from here is icing. “The Race Underground” is competing against remarkable works of non-fiction, including a biography of Douglas MacArthur, a collection of Nora Ephron’s writings, a book about the founding of Intel, Adam Rogers’ “Proof: The Science of Booze,” and “The Literary Churchill” by Jonathan Rose, to name only a few. Heady company, for sure. Like I said, it’s an honor to be included.