The finalists for the National Book Awards were announced for 2021, with Lauren Groff, Anthony Doerr and Hanif Abdurraqib among the nominees for the prestigious literary prizes.
Featuring stories about a woman defying the medieval patriarchy, two enslaved Black men finding love and a young girl who finds freedom in books and art during the Syrian civil war, 25 works were chosen by the National Book Foundation in five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people’s literature.
Among the finalists are five authors and two translators previously recognized by the organization. All the poetry finalists are first-time honorees, and four of the 25 nominees are debut authors.
The winners will be announced at the 72nd National Book Awards virtual ceremony on Nov. 17.
Karen Tei Yamashita and Nancy Pearl will also be recognized, respectively, with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ by Anthony Doerr
‘Matrix’ by Lauren Groff
‘Zorrie’ by Laird Hunt
‘The Prophets’ by Robert Jones Jr.
‘Hell of a Book’ by Jason Mott
‘A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance’ by Hanif Abdurraqib
‘Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains’ by Lucas Bessire
‘Tastes Like War: A Memoir’ by Grace M. Cho
‘Covered With Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America’ by Nicole Eustace
‘All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake’ by Tiya Miles
‘What Noise Against the Cane’ by Desiree C. Bailey
‘Floaters’ by Martin Espada
‘Sho’ by Douglas Kearney
‘A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure’ by Hoa Nguyen
‘The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us From the Void’ by Jackie Wang
‘Winter in Sokcho’ by Elisa Shua Dusapin, translated from French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
‘Peach Blossom Paradise’ by Ge Fei, translated from Chinese by Canaan Morse
‘The Twilight Zone’ by Nona Fernandez, translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
‘When We Cease to Understand the World’ by Benjamín Labatut, translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
‘Planet of Clay’ by Samar Yazbek, translated from Arabic by Leri Price
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