The 2020 National Book Awards finalists

The National Book Foundation unveiled, Tuesday, October 6, the list of 25 finalists for the National Book Awards 2020 in the categories Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Translated literature and Children’s literature. The awards will be presented at a ceremony to be held online on November 18.

In the fiction category, the National Book Foundation has selected Lydia Millet, author of Magnificence published in Recherches Midi in 2016 for his novel A Children’s Bible published in the United States by WW Norton & Company. Rumaan Alam, author of the news Rich and pretty and That kind of mother was chosen for Leave the World Behind, released October 6 by Ecco / HarperCollins. In addition, we find in this 2020 edition the second novel of Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown (Pantheon), who questions Hollywood clichés about Asians and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies of Deesha Philyaw at West Virginia University Press. At last, Douglas stuart, with Shuggie Bath (Grove Press), is also in the running for Booker Przie in the UK. Among the five fiction finalists this year, none of the authors were finalists except Lydia Millet in 2016.

In Non-Fiction, biographies are in vogue this year. We find in particular The Dead Are Arising, a biography of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne (WW Norton & Company) and My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, of Jenn shapland (Tin House Books). The selection is completed by Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory of Claudio saunt (WW Norton & Company), The Undocumented Americans, of Karla Cornejo Villavicencio and How to Make a Slave and Other Essays of Jerald walker appeared on the other side of the Atlantic at Mad Creeks Books.

Two translations available in France

In the Translated Literature category, European authors find a small place. We find Anja Kampmann for High as the Waters Rise, translated from German by Anne Posten and Jonas Hassen Khemiri for The Family Clause (Harvill Secker) translated from Swedish by Alice Menzies.

Available in France, the novels The Bitch (Calmann Levy) from the Colombian Pilar Quintana, published in 2020 and Ueno station park exit (South Acts) of the Japanese-Korean Yu miri published in 2015, are also selected.

In the Youth Literature category, the author Anna and the Swallow Man (Seghers, 2017), Gavriel Savit appears in the selection with The Way Back. The novelist Traci Chee, author of The Reader – Book 1 (Robert Laffont, 2017) makes a place for itself with We are not free (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

The selection of the National Book Awards 2020:

FICTION

  • Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Ecco / HarperCollins)
  • A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet (WW Norton & Co)
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw (West Virginia University Press)
  • Shuggie Bath by Douglas Stuart (Grove Press / Grove Atlantic)
  • Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu (Pantheon)

NO FICTION

  • The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (One World / Penguin Random House)
  • The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne (WW Norton & Company)
  • Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt (WW Norton & Co)
  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland (Tin House Books)
  • How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker (Mad Creeks Books)

POETRY

  • A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge (New Directions)
  • Fantasia for the Man in Blue by Tommye Blount (Four Way Books)
  • DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi (Wave Books)
  • Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody (Omnidawn Publishing)
  • Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz (Graywolf Press)

TRANSLATED LITERATURE

  • Anja Kampmann, High as the Waters Rise, translated from German by Anne Posten (Catapult)
  • Jonas Hassen Khemiri, The Family Clause, translated from Swedish by Alice Menzies (Farrar Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers)
  • Yu Miri, Tokyo Ueno Station, translated from Japanese by Morgan Giles (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random Books)
  • Pilar Quintana, The Bitch, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman (World Editions)
  • Adania Shibli, Minor Detail translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette (New Directions)

YOUTH LITERATURE

  • King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender (Scholastic Press)
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh (Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House)
  • When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House)
  • The Way Back by Gavriel Savit

We wish to thank the author of this article for this outstanding content

The 2020 National Book Awards finalists

Hank Gilbert