James McManus' The Education of a Poker Player has been nominated by Kirkus Reviews editors for the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Fiction! While every book that receives a starred Kirkus review within the year is eligible for the prize, Kirkus editors and staff evaluate each of the eligible books to determine which are most worthy of nomination and prize consideration. The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. In The Education of a Poker Player, New York Times-bestselling author James McManus offers up a collection of seven linked stories narrated by Vincent Killeen, an Irish Catholic altar boy, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Persuaded at age eight by his grandmother that entering the priesthood will guarantee salvation for every member of his family, Vince eagerly commits to attending a Jesuit seminary for high school. As the meaning of a vow of celibacy becomes clearer to him, however, and he is exposed to the irresistible temptations of poker and girls, life as a seminarian begins to seem less appealing. These autobiographical stories are enlightening and evocative, providing keen, often humorous insight into Catholicism, faith, celibacy and its opposite, as well as into America's—and increasingly the world's—favorite card game. Winners of the Kirkus Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Young Readers' Literature categories will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics. Click here to see the full list of 2015 Kirkus Prize nominees. The Education of a Poker Player is available now only at the BOA Bookstore until its October publication date. Order today and get your copy early!
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