Finalists of this year’s National Book Awards have been announced in various categories — fiction, nonfiction, literature in translation, poetry and young people’s literature. In fiction, the list includes Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw, A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (also shortlisted for Booker this year) and Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu.
The nonfiction list includes: The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker and My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland.
The list of translated literature is eclectic and contains several hidden gems. It includes: High as the Waters Rise by Anja Kampmann (translated from the German by Anne Posten), Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri (translated from the Japanese by Morgan Giles), Minor Detail by Adania Shibli (translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette), The Family Clause by Jonas Hassen Khemiri (translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies), The Bitch by Pilar Quintana (translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman).
For poetry the list includes: A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi, Fantasia for the Man in Blue by Tommye Blount, Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz and Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody.
And finally, the Young People’s Literature list includes: King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh, The Way Back by Gavriel Savit, When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed and Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh.
A report in The Independent states that the shortlist was selected from a list of 1,692 books submitted by publishers all across the categories. The winner will be announced in an online ceremony on November 18. As every year, two lifetime achievement awards are due to be given. This time author Walter Mosley and late Carolyn Reidy, former president and CEO of Simon & Schuster will be recipients.
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