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Barnes & Noble Announces Their 2023 Discover Prize Finalists

The Prize Celebrates the Best New Writers Published This Year

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

Barnes & Noble announces its Discover Prize finalists, the six most exceptional debut novels published in 2023. For decades, Barnes & Noble booksellers have been at the forefront of championing up-and-coming authors, propelling many to bestseller status through their passionate recommendations. In an extremely robust publishing year, B&N booksellers across the country have been reading hundreds of new authors to narrow down to the six books that make up the shortlist.

“There is such a specific joy in finishing a debut novel and realizing that this is the start of what is sure to be a brilliant career,” said Lexie Smyth, Category Manager for Fiction, Barnes & Noble. “As booksellers, we are proud to support new voices, and the six titles selected for the shortlist are the result of many passionate, thoughtful conversations. These are exemplary books we cannot wait to get into the hands of readers.” 

Works of unbearable beauty and heartbreaking tragedy; of survival and redemption, the weight of love and the search for belonging; stories highlighting overlooked people, places, and times — these debut novels are the ones that most impressed the booksellers of Barnes & Noble this year. In the coming weeks, these six titles will be voted on by Barnes & Noble booksellers nationwide. The 2023 Discover Prize Winner will be announced on October 30th during a live event held in the bookseller’s Upper West Side location. 

“Our bookstores have been the scene of many enthusiastic, and at times fiery, debates about this year’s list,” said Shannon DeVito, Director of Books, Barnes & Noble.  “The competition was fierce, and the booksellers were champions for every single one of the final six selections. The excellence of the finalists is astounding; so astounding that I am confident these writers are destined to become household names.”

Presenting the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize Shortlist: 

Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah — “Raw and visceral doesn’t even begin to cover it. This book whipped my heart around.” — Miwa M., Bookseller, Los Angeles, CA
Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias — “Reading this book was such a pleasure. The poetic language builds a story full of beauty, pain, and unexpected humor.” — Craig B., Bookseller, New York, NY
The East Indian by Brinda Charry — “I loved this book — Charry confidently pulls you into her historical setting, and the finale was so satisfying.” — Josh S., Bookseller, St. Louis, MO
Open Throat by Henry Hoke — “I read this in a single sitting. Seriously gripping, from the attention-grabbing opening line to the explosive final page.” — Jess L., Bookseller, Salem, NH
The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters — “This begins as a tragic mystery and blossoms into a story of resilient hope. I couldn’t put it down.” —  Carly R., Bookseller, Green Bay, WI
In Memoriam by Alice Winn — “This is part love story, part epic war story, and the writing rips along and never slows down.” — Brenda A., Bookseller, Bentonville, AR


About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest retail bookseller in the United States. The Company has approximately 600 bookstores across the United States, as well as its online bookstore at, the Nook Digital business which offers both e-books and an audio book subscriptions service, the SparkNotes educational service, stationery and gift retailer Paper Source, and the publisher Union Square & Co. General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be found on the Company’s website at      

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