The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. To that end, in 1950 they established the National Book Awards, bringing together the American literary community to honor the year’s best work in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and most recently, young people’s literature.
Pared down from last month’s longlists, here are the finalists for this year’s National Book Awards.
- 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
- 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
- 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
YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE
- Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
- March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Artist)
- When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
- The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced on November 16.
Additionally, the National Book Foundation announced its 2016 5 Under 35 honorees. 5 Under 35, now in its eleventh year, honors five debut fiction writers under the age of 35 whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape. The honorees are selected by authors who have been National Book Award winners or finalists, or writers previously recognized by the 5 Under 35 program. Here is the list of 5 Under 35 honorees, as well as the writers who selected them.
THE 2016 5 UNDER 35 HONOREES:
- Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers (selected by Jacqueline Woodson, 2014 National Book Award winner for Young People’s Literature and longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction)
- Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing (selected by Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015 National Book Award winner for Nonfiction)
- Greg Jackson, author of Prodigals (selected by Lauren Groff, 2015 National Book Award finalist for Fiction)
- Li, author of Transoceanic Lights (selected by Karen Bender, 2015 National Book Award finalist for Fiction)
- Thomas Pierce, author of Hall of Small Mammals (selected by Amity Gaige, 2006 5 Under 35 honoree)
Congratulations to all the finalists and honorees!