National Book Award Shortlist Unveiled

The nominees have been pared down to five finalists in each category (Fiction, Poetry, national-book-award-finalist-medalNonfiction, Young People’s Literature) as the countdown continues to find out which works will walk away with the prestigious National Book Award.

The National Book Awards were established in 1936 by the American Booksellers Association, and (after an interruption during WWII) have been awarded annually since 1950. Now hosted by the National Book Foundation, they are presented to U.S. authors for books published in the United States during the award year.  Nominations may only be made by publishing houses, but panelists (five esteemed writers in each category’s genre) may request specific nominations from publishers if they are aware of books of merit that have not already been nominated.

The 2014 finalists are:


  • An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Redeployment by Phil Klay
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson


  • Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal
  • Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos
  • The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson


  • Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Glück
  • Second Childhood by Fanny Howe
  • This Blue by Maureen N. McLane
  • The Feel Trio by Fred Moten
  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Young People’s Literature:

  • Threatened by Eliot Schrefer
  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
  • Noggin by John Corey Whaley
  • Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two by Deborah Wiles
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Finalists receive $1,000, a medal, and a citation written by the panel; winners receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture.  The 2014 winners will be announced on November 19 during a public awards ceremony in New York City.

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