On Thursday, New Yorker Literary Editor David Haglund and National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas announced the 2016 National Book Award finalists in a Facebook Live event. The longlists for prizes in Young People's Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction were announced in September. Now, only 20 books remain.
Only nine of the 20 titles shortlisted this year were written by women, down from 13 in 2015. More than half of the books below were written by authors of color.
Out of the running are Elizabeth McKenzie's The Portable Veblen , Adam Haslett's Imagine Me Gone , Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen's Pax , and Kwame Alexander's Booked , all of which received positive attention this year.
At the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Nov. 16, each of the winners will receive a medal, a statue, and $10,000, along with bragging rights, of course. The ceremony will also recognize biographer Robert A. Caro, who will receive the 2016 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, an award previously bestowed upon Don DeLillo, Ursula K. Le Guin, Oprah Winfrey, and Ray Bradbury, among others.
Young People's Literature
- Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
- March: Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
- When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
- The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Because of Winn-Dixie author Kate DiCamillo's new book, Raymie Nightingale, was a highly anticipated addition to YA shelves before its release in Spring 2016. When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin's recent release about a young girl in China who embarks on an adventure to rescue her kidnapped grandmother, received a starred review from Kirkus, as did Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star and Jason Reynolds' Ghost.
- The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky
- Collected Poems: 1974-2004 by Rita Dove
- Archeophonics by Peter Gizzi
- The Abridged History of Rainfall by Jay Hopler
- Look by Solmaz Sharif
This year's finalists for the National Book Award for Poetry include former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Guggenheim Fellow Peter Gizzi, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellow Solmaz Sharif.
- Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
- Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
- Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson
Nothing Ever Dies author Viet Thanh Nguyen is arguably the most recognizable name among the finalists for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. His 2015 novel, The Sympathizer, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
- The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder
- News of the World by Paulette Jiles
- The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson returns to adult fiction with Another Brooklyn; her verse novel, Brown Girl Dreaming, won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2014. Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad made headlines this summer, when Oprah announced it as her latest book club pick, prompting its early release. Karan Mahajan's The Association of Small Bombs has received numerous accolades, from no less than TIME, Esquire, and The New York Times.
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