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2021 Finalists for the National Book Awards

Cover of Award Finalists
Award Finalists

Recently the National Book Foundation announced the 2021 Finalists for the National Book Awards.  According to their website "the mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture."   The categories include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, Young People's Literature. Hopefully a few of the below titles will make it to your to-be-read list.  I know that some are on mine or soon will be.


Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land  [ebook]
Scribner / Simon & Schuster

Lauren Groff, Matrix  [ebook]
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Laird Hunt, Zorrie
Bloomsbury Publishing

Robert Jones, Jr., The Prophets  [ebook]
G. P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Random House

Jason Mott, Hell of a Book [ebook]
Dutton / Penguin Random House


Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
Random House / Penguin Random House

Lucas Bessire, Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains
Princeton University Press

Grace M. Cho, Tastes Like War: A Memoir
Feminist Press at the City University of New York

Nicole Eustace, Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America
Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company

Tiya Miles, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake [Ebook]
Random House / Penguin Random House


Desiree C. Bailey, What Noise Against the Cane
Yale University Press

Martín Espada, Floaters
W. W. Norton & Company

Douglas Kearney, Sho
Wave Books

Hoa Nguyen, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure
Wave Books

Jackie Wang, The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void
Nightboat Books


Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho
Translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
Open Letter

Ge Fei, Peach Blossom Paradise
Translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse
New York Review Books

Nona Fernández, The Twilight Zone
Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
Graywolf Press

Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World
Translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
New York Review Books
Samar Yazbek, Planet of Clay
Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price
World Editions


Shing Yin Khor, The Legend of Auntie Po
Kokila / Penguin Random House

Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club [ebook]
Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kyle Lukoff, Too Bright to See [ebook]
Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kekla Magoon, Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
Candlewick Press

Amber McBride, Me (Moth)
Feiwel and Friends / Macmillan Publishers


Oct 7, 2021