Tana French and Heather Young win Strand Critics Awards for Best Novel and Best Debut Novel and the Legendary Clive Cussler Accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award

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Clive Cussler, Tana French and Heather Young take home the Strand Critics Award prizes.

"I just never thought it would wind up here" —Clive Cussler

On Wednesday, July 12, at an invitation-only cocktail party in Manhattan, Tana French won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for The Trespasser (Viking Penguin). Heather Young won the Best First Novel award for The Lost Girls (William Morrow). And, Clive Cussler was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the genre.

After being nominated a record five times for Best Novel, Tana French took home the top prize for The Trespasser which received rave reviews for blurring the lines between genre and literary fiction. In a statement read by her publicist Ben Petrone, French said: “I am honored and I really wish I were there tonight, and I am relying on Ben Petrone and Andrew [Gulli] to down a couple of my favorite cocktails for me.”

Heather Young burst onto the scene last year with her debut novel The Lost Girls which received great review coverage and an Edgar nomination, “I’m overwhelmed. I guess I would want to say The Lost Girls was a dream of mine for many years.”

In addition to the Critics Awards, Clive Cussler was recognized for his contributions to the field of crime fiction with the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Since his debut Dirk Pitt novel The Mediterranean Caper which was published in 1973, Clive Cussler has earned a reputation as the master of the adventure thriller and has been credited with reinvigorating a stagnant genre. His books have been translated in over two-dozen languages and have sold millions of copies.

Cussler was on hand to accept the award, “…my first book was Mediterranean Caper... The paperback sold over 10,000 copies, and my next one was a hard cover and it sold 3... So it’s been kind of a checkered career, and I’ve had a great deal of fun with it, and I just never thought it would wind up here.”

“It was great to see Tana get the top prize, since she was nominated so many times,” said Andrew F. Gulli, the managing editor of the Strand. “We were also happy to see Clive who in many respects is a contemporary Jules Verne or H. Rider Haggard on hand to accept the award. And Heather wrote a fantastic book and faced some very stiff competition from some other debut authors who are sure to blaze a huge trail.”

The Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics including, Sarah Begley (TIME), Steph Cha (LA Times), Patrick Anderson (Washington Post), Oline Cogdill (Associated Press) Annalisa Quinn (NPR), Clea Simon (Boston Globe), and Jack Batten (Toronto Star)

Best Novel
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
The Trespasser by Tana French (Viking)
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow)
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press)
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Gallery)

Best Debut Novel:
The Widow by Fiona Barton (NAL)
IQ by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (Touchstone)
A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt (Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Homeplace by Kevin Wolf (Minotaur)
The Lost Girls by Heather Young (William Morrow)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Clive Cussler

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