NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Harding’s Maine-based historical novel “This Other Eden,” Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s dystopian “Chain-Gang All-Stars” and Justin Torres’ multi-generational “Blackouts” are among the fiction finalists for the National Book Awards.
Fiction judges also selected Aaliyah Bilal’s debut story collection “Temple Folk” and Hanna Pylväinen’s “The End of Drum-Time,” set in 19th century Scandinavia.
On Tuesday, the National Book Foundation announced finalists in four other competitive categories: nonfiction, poetry, translation and young people’s literature. The foundation, which presents the awards, released long lists of 10 last month. Winners will be announced at a dinner ceremony in Manhattan on Nov. 15, when poet Rita Dove and longtime City Lights bookseller Paul Yamazaki will receive honorary prizes, and Oprah Winfrey will be a featured speaker.
Drew Barrymore had been chosen to host the evening but was dropped last month after she decided to resume her talk show during the Hollywood writers strike. Barrymore soon changed her mind and paused production, and the strike has since been settled, but the foundation did not invite her back. On Tuesday it announced her replacement, the actor-writer-comedian Amber Ruffin.
In nonfiction, the nominees are Ned Blackhawk’s “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History,” Cristina Rivera Garza’s “Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice,” Christina Sharpe’s “Ordinary Notes,” Raja Shehadeh’s “We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir” and John Vaillant’s “Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World.”
Monica Youn’s “From From” and John Lee Clark’s “How to Communicate” are poetry finalists, along with Craig Santos Perez’s “from unincorporated territory (åmot),” Evie Shockley’s “suddenly we” and Brandon Som’s “Tripas.” The young people’s literature nominees are Kenneth M. Cadow’s “Gather,” Huda Fahmy’s “Huda F Cares?”, Vashti Harrison’s “Big,” Katherine Marsh’s “The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine” and Dan Santat’s “A First Time for Everything.”
Bora Chung’s “Cursed Bunny,” translated from the Korean by Anton Hur, is a translation finalist. Others include David Diop’s “Beyond the Door of No Return, translated from the French by Sam Taylor; Stênio Gardel’s ”The Words That Remain,” translated from the Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato; Pilar Quintana’s “Abyss,” translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman; and Astrid Roemer’s “On a Woman’s Madness,” translated from the Dutch by Lucy Scott.
Publishers submitted a total of 1,931 books for the five competitive categories, which are judged by panels of writers, booksellers and other members of the literary community.