2021 Audie Award® Winners Announced—PIRANESI named Audiobook of the Year, CLAP WHEN YOU LAND wins Young Adult Audie Award®

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The 26th Audie Awards® recognized the best in audiobook and spoken word entertainment via virtual ceremony hosted by John Leguizamo. Susanna Clarke’s PIRANESI, read by Chiwetel Ejiofor, was named the 2021 Audiobook of the Year. Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land, read by the author and Melania-Luisa Marte, wins the 2021 Young Adult Audie Award®. Other winners include Alicia Keys, Robin Miles, Laurence Fishburne, and Colin Jost.

2021 Audie Awards logo

"The audiobook industry has achieved a level of inclusivity and representation that other industries can only aspire to.”—John Leguizamo, emcee of the 2021 Audie Awards

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the 2021 Audie Award® winners at the 26th Audie Awards® Gala, which was staged virtually last evening. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor and published by Bloomsbury PLC, was named the 2021 Audiobook of the Year. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte, published by HarperAudio, won the 2021 Young Adult Audie Award®. Winners were announced in 25 categories total.


Author judges Jennifer Egan, Tommy Orange, and David Sedaris named Piranesi the Audiobook of the Year for several notable reasons. “The reading is a triumph of tone… one of the best readings of contemporary literature that I have ever listened to,” said Egan. “I have already recommended it to several people, including my 18-year-old son and 82-year-old mother.” Sedaris noted: “I think the reading perfectly complements the author's intent. The characterization is complex, and Chiwetel Ejiofor's voice is appropriately naive and full of wonder. The novel is a bit confusing at first, and Ejiofor masterfully pulls us through the fog.” Orange stated: “When the book got darker and more thrilling, and as the mystery at the center of the novel was revealed, Chiwetel Ejiofor moved the story along beautifully.”

2021 Young Adult Audie Award® winner, Clap When You Land, was widely praised by Young Adult author judges Jerry Craft, Melissa de la Cruz, and V.E. Schwab. “The narration of this title brought the story to life in a rich and luscious manner,” noted Melissa de la Cruz. V.E. Schwab commented: “The dual narration was powerful, as was the execution of the novel-in-verse component, which could be felt in the pacing and choices made by the two narrators. It was a perfect balance of writing and narration, with the voices breathing life into the poetry on the page.” Jerry Craft stated: “I had the biggest emotional attachment to this book and its characters. Obviously, no one knows the characters like the author, but fortunately Elizabeth Acevedo has the skills to say the lines exactly as she had written them. I would definitely recommend this title. It flows so well.”

John Leguizamo was a hilariously funny and engaging emcee for the evening and commented in his opening monologue: “I’m proud to host this show. The diversity that I see among our nominees: women, the LGBTQ community, my Latinx brothers and sisters, and overall, so, so many people of color. The audiobook industry has achieved a level of inclusivity and representation that other industries can only aspire to.”

The award ceremony was preceded by the Audies’ first “virtual” red carpet event, hosted by PJ Ochlan and Suzanne Elise Freeman, and featured appearances by Marin Ireland, Holly Palance, Alicia D. Williams, Robert Bathurst, Jane Santos, Vikas Adam, Scott Brick and other audio industry insiders.

The Audie Awards® is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Publishers and rights holders enter titles in various categories for recognition of achievement. Finalists are selected, and from that group of finalists one winner is awarded. The Audie Awards® is a registered trademark of the Audio Publishers Association.

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) is a not-for-profit trade organization whose primary goals are to promote awareness of the audiobook industry, gather and disseminate industry statistics, encourage high production standards and represent the interests of audiobook publishers. Since 1986, the APA has worked to bring audio publishers together to increase interest in audiobooks.


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