The awards were hosted by actor Ethan Hawke. During the proceedings, actors Zoe Kazan and Billy Crudup joined him on stage, reading excerpts from the work of the five finalists. Kazan read passages by finalists Scibona and Sana Krasikov; Crudup read work by finalists Jon Fasman and Rivka Galchen. Finally, Hawke read a passage written by finalist Zachary Mason.
As he presented the award, NYPL President Paul LeClerc said he no longer worried that giant bookstores would destroy libraries. “More people are coming to the library system than in the last 50 years,” he explained. “We’ve had more than 15 million physical visits this year.” Stay tuned this week for exclusive interviews with the finalists.