2002 National Book Award Finalists Announced

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On Wednesday, October 16, the National Book Foundation announced the finalists for the 2002 National Book Awards. The awards are presented in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. Among the finalists were four titles previously selected by independent booksellers as Book Sense 76 picks. (See below for the list of finalists.)

It was also announced that Philip Roth will receive the Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Roth will speak at the November 20 awards ceremony, which will be hosted by Steven Martin at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

The National Book Award winners will be selected by five-member, independent judging panels for each category and will receive a $10,000 cash award and a crystal sculpture.

To be eligible, a book must have been published in the United States between December 1, 2001 and November 30, 2002 and must have been written by a United States citizen.



M.T. Anderson, Feed (Candlewick Press)

Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion (A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Naomi Shihab Nye, 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollinsPublishers)

Elizabeth Partridge, This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life & Songs of Woody Guthrie (Viking/PenguinPutnam Books for Young Readers)

Jacqueline Woodson, Hush (G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers)


Mark Costello, Big If (W.W. Norton & Company)

Julia Glass, Three Junes (Pantheon Books) -- Book Sense 76 pick

Adam Haslett, You Are Not a Stranger Here (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) -- Book Sense 76 pick

Martha McPhee, Gorgeous Lies (Harcourt, Inc.)

Brad Watson, The Heaven of Mercury (W.W. Norton & Company) -- Book Sense 76 pick


Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California Press)

Sharon Olds, The Unswept Room (Alfred A. Knopf)

Alberto Ríos, The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (Copper Canyon Press)

Ruth Stone, In the Next Galaxy (Copper Canyon Press)

Ellen Bryant Voigt, Shadow of Heaven (W.W. Norton & Company)


Robert A. Caro, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Alfred A. Knopf)

Devra Davis, When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution (Basic Books/Perseus Books Group)

Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Co.) -- Book Sense 76 pick

Elizabeth Gilbert, The Last American Man (Viking Penguin)

Steve Olson, Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through Our Genes (Houghton Mifflin Company)