Finalists Announced for This Year’s National Book Awards

Five books are now shortlisted for each of the five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people’s literature. Winners will be named in November.


By Elizabeth A. Harris

A food memoir that examines a mother’s schizophrenia. A novel about an author’s book tour, and about growing up as a Black boy in the rural South. Poetry honoring migrants who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande.

These are some of the 25 finalists for the National Book Awards, which the National Book Foundation announced on Tuesday.

In “Tastes Like War: A Memoir,” by Grace M. Cho, the author cooks her grandmother’s recipes while exploring her mother’s illness, and how war, colonialism and xenophobia live on in the body. Other nonfiction nominees include “Covered With Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America,” by Nicole Eustace, which examines the 1722 murder case of an Indigenous hunter, and “A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance,” whose author, the poet Hanif Abdurraqib, received a MacArthur Fellowship last month.

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