Gotham Book Prize Chooses Two Winners for the First Time Ever for 2023 

The Gotham Book Prize winners have been announced and two winners were chosen and have to split the winnings. 

Two Winners Chosen by Gotham Book Prize

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana and The Sewing Girl’s Tale by John Wood Sweet were the winners of the award. The two winners will be splitting an increased prize of $70,000 and will be honored at an independent bookstore that recently opened on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.   

This is the first time that two winners were chosen instead of one since the Gotham Book Prize was founded in mid-2020 during the pandemic.  

Gotham Book Prize winners
Gotham Book Prize announces the winners for 2023

“We are thrilled to increase the prize money this year and honor two outstanding authors — one whose sharp historical inquiry brings to life New York City’s past, and another whose vivid character development captures the voice of New York City today,” said Bradley Tusk and Howard Wolfson, co-creators of the Gotham Book Prize in a statement. 

“We started the Gotham Book Prize during the pandemic to encourage writers to share unique storie about New York, and both of these books have accomplished exactly this. We expect both to be cemented in the canon of great New York City books.” 

Statements by the Winners

Both Fofana and Sweet were ecstatic about winning the award

“I have both Deacon King Kong and Invisible Child on my bookshelf and it is absolutely surreal to be recognized in a similar way. This city is so beautifully intricate, and for the Gotham Prize to include Stories from the Tenants Downstairs in that mosaic is an honor words really cannot do justice to. On top of that — I get to share this good euphoria with a writer who I absolutely adore,” said Fofana.  

“One of the great rewards of researching and writing The Sewing Girl’s Tale was getting to know the city of New York in new ways.  Around every corner, on each new page, was a mystery or a revelation.  Ultimately, this book became an opportunity to tell the story of our nation’s founding era not through the eyes of the so-called Founding Fathers but through the eyes of a young woman of modest circumstances: a seventeen year old sewing girl who refused to be silenced, who insisted that she, too, mattered.  Hers is a powerful New York story of courage—and its costs,” said  Sweet. 

Celebrating Books About New York City

The Gotham Book Prize award chooses the best book (or books) about New York City or books that place in New York City every year. Previous winners include Deacon King Kong by James McBride and Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott 

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