The finalists for the four categories in the National Book Award have just been announced! In the fiction category we see the 2011 Orange Prize winner The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht, a likely winner for this prestigious award.
In the Poetry category we see the familiar Adrienne Rich, one of America’s foremost feminist poets, with her collection called Tonight No Poetry Will Serve . She shares this category with Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split, Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch, Carl Phillips, Double Shadow and Bruce Smith, Devotions.
I’m a voracious reader of non-fiction, so this category holds particular interest for me. The post-humous finalist Manning Marable contributed Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, a controversial and fresh look at the complex and short life of Malcom X. This category also includes Deborah Baker with The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism and Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution. I am particularly keen to read Stephen Greenblatt‘s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and especially Lauren Redniss‘s Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout.
And finally, the category for Young People’s Literature. A genre somewhat plagued with cheesy paranormal romance, it is refreshing to see original, non-vampire work. Due to a bit of a mix-up at the organisation, the wrong nomination was sent out, so an extra space was added to the category to make up for it. Definitely worth adding to your Christmas list for the teens in your life that love to read, we have:
Franny Billingsley, Chime, Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name Is Not Easy, Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again, Albert Marrin, Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy, Lauren Myracle, Shine and Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now.
The winners enjoy a number of benefits beyond the $10 000 prize:
Once an author has been a National Book Award Finalist or Winner, he or she becomes a permanent member of the National Book Foundation family. We do our best to keep in touch with both the authors and publishers, promote the authors’ new books and upcoming readings, and invite them to future National Book Award-related events.