Alumnus Malcolm Hansen '14 Awarded 2019 First Novelist Award by Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Nominated for NAACP Award

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, February 14, 2019

They Come in All Colors book coverDebut novel by writing alumnus Malcolm Hansen '14, They Come in All Colors (Atria/S&S), was awarded the 2019 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors published in 2018, including an award for Best Poetry and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing. The recipients will receive awards during the 2019 annual meeting of the American Library Association in Washington, DC. Alternating between the Deep South and New York City during the 1960s and early '70s, They Come in All Colors follows a biracial teenage boy who finds his new life in the big city disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.


“It's possible to imagine literary recluses J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee coming out of hiding to forge this shaggy, rakish, yet haunting account of a smart aleck's coming-of-age in harsh times.” —Kirkus Reviews


Headshot of Malcolm Hansen“In They Come in All Colors, Malcolm Hansen is not writing about saints or monsters, just vivid human beings. And does so with humor and insight.” —Victor LaValle, award-winning author of The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom and Columbia faculty member, chair of the fiction concentration. 


Hansen was also nominated for an NAACP image award for Outstanding Literature in the Fiction category. The awards will be live March 30, 2019 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.


Malcolm Hansen was born at the Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers in Chattanooga, TN. Adopted by two Civil Rights activists, his family lived in Morocco, Spain, Germany, and various parts of the United States. Malcolm left home as a teenager and after two years of high school education, went to Stanford, earning a BA in philosophy. He worked for a few years in the software industry in California before setting off for what turned out to be a decade of living, working, and traveling throughout Central America, South America, and Europe. Malcolm returned to the US to complete an MFA in Fiction from Columbia. He currently lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.