This year’s National Book Awards will recognize works of literature, and the organization that bequeaths the awards has already revealed the list of nominees.
While some other authors are coming back into the limelight, the event should highlight up-and-coming writers from this year.
For example, Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mistutani were nominated for Translated Literature after winning the National Book Award in the same category in 2018.
Additionally on the list are nominees Sharon Olds, Gayl Jones, and Scholastique Mukasonga. Jones was nominated in the Fiction category for her work “The Birdcatcher,” Mukasonga received a nomination in the Translated Literature category for “Kibogo,” and Olds received a nomination in the Poetry Category for “Balladz.”
For their first publications, authors Sarah Thankam Mathews (All This Could Be Different), Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon), and Sarah Tess Gunty (The Rabbit Hutch) were all shortlisted in the Fiction category.
The Young People’s Literature Category Finalists will all get honors from the National Books Awards, marking the organization’s first major initiative in this category.
Tommie Smith, who is well-known in the United States not only as an athlete but also as someone who loudly opposed racial discrimination at the 1968 Summer Olympics hosted in Mexico, is one of the finalists.
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The National Books Awards are getting ready to reveal the winners on November 16 in New York City. Additionally awarded with lifetime achievement honors are Traci D. Hall and Art Spiegelman.
Hall is the first African American executive director of the American Library Association.
The winners of the categories will also receive financial rewards from the National Books Awards, totaling $10,000. Here is a complete list of all the finalists, along with the books they each wrote.
Tess Gunty, The Rabbit Hutch
Gayl Jones, The Birdcatcher
Jamil Jan Kochai, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories
Sarah Thankam Mathews, All This Could Be Different
Alejandro Varela, The Town of Babylon
Meghan O’Rourke, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness
Imani Perry, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation
David Quammen, Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus
Ingrid Rojas Contreras, The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir
Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice
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Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Look at This Blue
John Keene, Punks: New & Selected Poems
Sharon Olds, Balladz
Roger Reeves, Best Barbarian
Jenny Xie, The Rupture Tense
Jon Fosse, A New Name: Septology VI-VII. Translated by Damion Searls
Scholastique Mukasonga, Kibogo. Translated by Mark Polizzotti
Mónica Ojeda, Jawbone. Translated by Sarah Booker
Samanta Schweblin, Seven Empty Houses. Translated by Megan McDowell
Yoko Tawada, Scattered All Over the Earth. Translated by Margaret Mitsutani
Young People’s Literature
Kelly Barnhill, The Ogress and the Orphans
Sonora Reyes, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School
Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice
Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage
Lisa Yee, Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Photo Credit: Meghan Collins Sullivan