The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2020 National Book Awards. The winner in each category will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on November 18 at the 71st National Book Awards ceremony, which will be held exclusively online.
According to the NBF, of the 25 nominees, two writers have been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Lydia Millet who was Longlisted in 2016 and Charles Yu, a 2007 5 Under 35 honoree. Eight of the twenty-five Finalists are debuts.
- Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Ecco)
- A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet (W. W. Norton)
- The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw (West Virginia University Press)
- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Grove Atlantic)
- Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu (Pantheon Books)
- The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (One World)
- The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne (Liveright)
- Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt (W. W. Norton)
- My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland (Tin House Books)
- How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker (Mad Creek Books)
- 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)
- High as the Waters Rise by Anja Kampmann and translated by Anne Posten (Catapult)
- The Family Clause by Jonas Hassen Khemiri and translated by Alice Menzies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri and translated by Morgan Giles (Riverhead Books)
- The Bitch by Pilar Quintana and translated by Lisa Dillman (World Editions)
- Minor Detail by Adania Shibli and translated by Elisabeth Jaquette (New Directions)
Young People’s 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)
- When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books for Young Readers)
- The Way Back by Gavriel Savit (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
A total of 388 books were submitted for this year’s National Book Award for fiction. The judges are Roxane Gay (chair), Cristina Henríquez, Laird Hunt, Rebecca Makkai, and Keaton Patterson.
Publishers submitted a total of 609 books for the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The judges are James Goodman, Yunte Huang, Hannah Oliver Depp, David Treuer, and Terry Tempest Williams (chair).
A total of 254 books were submitted for this year's National Book Award for Poetry. The judges are Rigoberto González, John Hennessy, Layli Long Soldier (chair), Diana Khoi Nguyen, and Elizabeth Willis.
Publishers submitted a total of 130 books for the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature. The judges are Heather Cleary, John Darnielle, Anne Ishii, Brad Johnson, and Dinaw Mengestu (chair).
A total of 311 books were submitted for this year’s National Book Award for Young People's Literature. The judges are Randy Ribay, Neal Shusterman, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Joan Trygg (chair), and Colleen AF Venable.