The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards. The winners will be announced live on November 17 at the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony, which will be held exclusively online.
According to the NBF, of the 25 nominees, five writers and two translators have been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Hanif Abdurraqib, Anthony Doerr, Nona Fernández, Lauren Gross, Kekla Magoon, Leri Price, and Natasha Wimmer. Four of the twenty-five finalists are debuts.
The finalists are as follows:
- Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
- Matrix by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
- Zorrie by Laird Hunt (Bloomsbury)
- The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
- Hell of a Book by Jason Mott (Dutton)
- A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib (Random House)
- Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains by Lucas Bessire (Princeton University Press)
- Tastes Like War: A Memoir by Grace M. Cho (Feminist Press)
- Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America by Nicole Eustace (Liveright)
- All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles, (Random House)
- What Noise Against the Cane by Desiree C. Bailey (Yale University Press)
- Floaters by Martín Espada (W.W. Norton)
- Sho by Douglas Kearney (Wave Books)
- A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure by Hoa Nguyen (Wave Books)
- The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void by Jackie Wang (Nightboat Books)
- Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin and translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins (Open Letter)
- Peach Blossom Paradise by Ge Fei and translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse (New York Review Books)
- The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández and translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer (Graywolf Press)
- When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut and translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West (New York Review Books)
- Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek and translated from the Arabic by Leri Price (World Editions)
Young People’s Literature
- The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor (Kokila/PRH)
- Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Dutton Books for Young Readers/PRH)
- Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (Dial Books for Young Readers/PRH)
- Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon (Candlewick Press)
- Me (Moth) by Amber McBride, (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan)
A total of 415 books were submitted for the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction. The judges are Alan Michael Parker, Emily Pullen, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Luis Alberto Urrea (chair), and Charles Yu.
Publishers submitted a total of 679 books for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The judges are Eula Biss, Aaron John Curtis, Nell Painter (chair), Kate Tuttle, and Jerald Walker.
A total of 290 books were submitted for the 2021 National Book Award for Poetry. The judges are Don Mee Choi, Natalie Diaz, Matthea Harvey, A. Van Jordan (chair), and Ilya Kaminsky.
Publishers submitted a total of 164 books for this year’s National Book Award for Translated Literature. The judges are Jessie Chaffee, Madhu H. Kaza, Achy Obejas, Sergio de la Pava, and Stephen Snyder (chair).
A total of 344 books were submitted for this year’s National Book Award for Young People's Literature. The judges are Pablo Cartaya, Traci Chee, Leslie Connor, Cathryn Mercier (chair), and Ibi Zoboi.