The year's 10 best works of American fiction have finally been announced, much to book-lovers' delight. Out on Friday, the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction longlist celebrates American diversity. You can read every one of these novels and short-story collections today. Keep scrolling to find out more about these fantastic books, one of which will take home the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction.
This week has seen the release of five, 10-book longlists from the National Book Foundation — the longlist for Young People's Literature on Monday, Translated Literature on Tuesday, Poetry on Wednesday, Nonfiction on Thursday, and Fiction on Friday. Each of the lists will be reduced to five-book pools of finalists on Oct. 8. The National Book Foundation will reveal the 2019 National Book Award winners at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Nov. 20.
The books on this year's Fiction longlist represent the diversity of American life. From stories about Latinas of indigenous heritage, to an exploration of identity from a first-generation Vietnamese-American, these books examine the varied events that make up the so-called American experience.
Check out the 10 books on the National Book Award for Fiction longlist below, and share your predictions about the winner with me on Twitter!
'Fleishman Is in Trouble' by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
After his ex violates their custody agreement by dropping their children with him at inconvenient hours, a recently separated doctor must investigate when his co-parent suddenly disappears.
'Trust Exercise' by Susan Choi
David and Sarah — two rising sophomores attending a high school for the performing arts — fall in love, but their relationship soon crumbles. As Sarah and another student, Karen, embark on new relationships with visitors from a British arts academy, readers must question everything they thought they knew about David and Sarah's relationship.
'Sabrina & Corina' by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
A collection of short stories focusing on Latinas from indigenous backgrounds living in the American West, Kali Fajardo-Anstine's Sabrina & Corina offers up poignant and thought-provoking stories of contemporary women's lives.
'Black Leopard, Red Wolf' by Marlon James
From the author of the 2015 Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings comes this new work of literary fantasy. Marlon James' Black Leopard, Red Wolf centers on Tracker, a freelancer hired to find a missing boy, as he and his search-and-rescue team attempt to unravel the mystery of the child's disappearance.
'The Other Americans' by Laila Lalami
When a Moroccan-American man is killed in a hit-and-run accident, his family, friends, and other community members reckon with their feelings about him, his death, and one another. Laila Lalami's The Other Americans shifts between these varied narrators in its examination of the man's death and its aftermath.
'Black Light' by Kimberly King Parsons
The stories in Kimberly King Parsons' Black Light tackle universal moments, from coming-of-age highs to the lows of marriage, with the sort of wisdom that will make you feel incredibly seen.
'The Need' by Helen Phillips
When an intruder breaks into Molly's house at night, while her two children are asleep, the mother is suddenly thrust into a frightful conversation with someone who knows entirely too much about her life.
'Disappearing Earth' by Julia Phillips
A community on the frigid Kamchatka peninsula in eastern Russia descends into a state of abject fear when two young girls vanish without a trace in this debut.
'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous' by Ocean Vuong
Styled as a letter from the narrator, Little Dog, to his illiterate mother, Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous reads like a confessional, opening up questions about the things we can never talk about with those who love us most.
'The Nickel Boys' by Colson Whitehead
When his college dreams are upended by an unfortunate, chance meeting that lands him in a reformatory where boys are beaten and killed, Elwood Curtis must figure out how to survive — both in his new home, and in the Civil Rights Era South.