2019 National Book Awards Finalists Announced

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The National Book Foundation has revealed the shortlists for the 70th annual National Book Awards

NBA finalists logoTo be eligible for a 2019 National Book Award, a book must have been written by a U.S. citizen and published in the United States between December 1, 2018, and November 30, 2019.

The 25 finalists were announced on VanityFair.com on Tuesday morning, October 8. 

The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists for Fiction 

  • Susan Choi, Trust Exercise (Henry Holt & Company / Macmillan Publishers)
  • Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Corina: Stories (One World / Penguin Random House)
  • Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Laila Lalami, The Other Americans (Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth (Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House)

The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists for Nonfiction

  • Sarah M. Broom, The Yellow House (Grove Press / Grove Atlantic)
  • Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays (The New Press)
  • Carolyn Forché, What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance (Penguin Press / Penguin Random House)
  • David Treuer, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Albert Woodfox with Leslie George, Solitary (Grove Press / Grove Atlantic)

The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists for Poetry 

  • Jericho Brown, The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press)
  • Toi Derricotte, ‘I’: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press)
  • Carmen Giménez Smith, Be Recorder (Graywolf Press)
  • Arthur Sze, Sight Lines (Copper Canyon Press)

The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists for Translated Literature 

  • Khaled Khalifa, Death Is Hard Work, translated by Leri Price (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / Macmillan Publishers)
  • László Krasznahorkai, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, translated by Ottilie Mulzet (New Directions)
  • Scholastique Mukasonga, The Barefoot Woman, translated by Jordan Stump (Archipelago Books)
  • Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police, translated by Stephen Snyder (Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Pajtim Statovci, Crossing, translated by David Hackston (Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House)

The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists for Young People’s Literature 

  • Akwaeke Emezi, Pet (Make Me a World / Penguin Random House)
  • Jason Reynolds, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Simon & Schuster)
  • Randy Ribay, Patron Saints of Nothing (Kokila / Penguin Random House)
  • Laura Ruby, Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Martin W. Sandler, 1919: The Year That Changed America (Bloomsbury Children’s Books / Bloomsbury Publishing)

This year’s group of judges included one independent bookseller on each of the five category panels: Javier Ramirez, manager of The Book Table in Oak Park, Illinois, served on the Fiction panel; Mark Laframboise, head book buyer at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. on the Nonfiction panel; John Evans, co-owner of DIESEL, A Bookstore in Santa Monica, on the Poetry panel; Shuchi Saraswat, buyer and events coordinator at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Massachusetts, on the Translated Literature panel; and Kristen Gilligan, co-owner of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado, on the Young People’s Literature panel.

Winners will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Wednesday, November 20, in New York City. At the ceremony, in addition to the winners in the above categories, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren J. Teicher will be recognized as the recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 2019 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and Edmund White will receive the National Book Foundation’s 2019 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.