Finalists announced for this year’s National Book Awards

A dietary brief that examines a mother’s schizophrenia. A novel about an author’s book tour and growing up as a black boy in the rural south. Poetry honoring migrants who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande.

These are some of the 25 finalists for the National Book Awards, which the National Book Foundation announced on Tuesday.

In “It tastes like war: a memory”, By Grace M. Cho, the author cooks her grandmother’s recipes while exploring her mother’s illness, and how war, colonialism and xenophobia live in the body. Other non-fiction nominees include “Covered by Night: A Tale of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early AmericaBy Nicole Eustace, which examines the murder case of an indigenous hunter in 1722, and “A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance”, whose author, poet Hanif Abdurraqib, received a scholarship. MacArthur last month.

The book tour novel is “Hell of a Book”, by Jason Mott, who was joined in the fiction category by two authors who have already been shortlisted for the National Book Award: Anthony Doerr, this time for “Cloud Cuckoo Land “, and Lauren Groff for” The Matrix “. “Matrix” follows Marie of France, a “bastard brother of the crown”, as she transforms a destitute, almost forgotten and starving convent, into a rich and powerful world of women.

Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers ” Bewilderment ‘and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’ ‘The Love Songs of WEB Du Bois’, two bestselling novels that were on the shortlist when it was announced in September, are missing. among the finalists.

In the poetry category, Martín Espada pays tribute to the migrants drowned in the Rio Grande in his book “Floats. ” In “What a noise against the caneDesiree C. Bailey explores the Haitian revolution and what it means to be a black woman in the United States today.

In the translated literature category, Benjamín Labatut’s book “When you stop understanding the world” is one of the finalists. Translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, the novel imagines the lives of renowned scientists like Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger. Its competition includes “Clay planetBy Samar Yazbek, translated from Arabic by Leri Price, who follows a girl named Rima during the Syrian civil war.

The Legend of Aunt Po, A graphic novel by Shing Yin Khor, is a finalist for children’s literature. The novel reimagines the story of Paul Bunyan in the context of race and immigration in the period following the Chinese exclusion law of 1882. “Revolution in our time: the Black Panther Party’s promise to the people”, Kekla Magoon’s book linking the Black Panther Party to the Black Lives Matter movement, is also a finalist.

The winners in children’s literature, translated literature, poetry, non-fiction and fiction will be announced on November 17 at an online ceremony.

Two awards of excellence will also be awarded. Writer and teacher Karen Tei Yamashita will receive the Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution, and author and librarian Nancy Pearl will receive the Literary Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

Below is the full list of finalists.


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