The 2022 National Book Awards finalists were announced on October 4. The nominees were picked from the 50 longlists revealed in September for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.
There are five authors and one translator among the five categories who have previously received National Book Awards recognition: Gayl Jones, selected as a finalist in 1998 for Fiction; Scholastique Mukasonga, chosen as a finalist for Translated Literature in 2019; Sharon Olds, nominated as a finalist in 2002 for Poetry; David Quammen, longlisted in 2018 for Nonfiction; and Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani, winners of Translated Literature in 2018. The five Young People’s Literature Finalists are all first-time National Book Award nominees. Twenty-five of the finalist titles include six debuts.
The winners will each receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture at a live awards ceremony on November 16 in New York City. A bronze medal and $1,000 will also be awarded to each finalist. The translator and author split the prize money for the Translated Literature Award equally.
In the same awards event, Art Spiegelman will be awarded the 2022 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, while Tracie D. Hall will receive the 2022 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
The 25 finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards are:
- The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty
- The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones
- The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Jamil Jan Kochai
- All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews,
- The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela
- The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke
- South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
- Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus by David Quammen,
- The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
- His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa
- Look at This Blue by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
- Punks: New & Selected Poems by John Keene
- Balladz by Sharon Olds
- Best Barbarian by Roger Reeves
- The Rupture Tense by Jenny Xie
- A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated from the Norwegian by Damion Searls
- Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti
- Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker
- Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
- Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani
Young People’s Literature
- The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill
- The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
- Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile
- All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
- Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee
For this year’s awards, the judges included Ben Fountain, Brandon Hobson, Pam Houston, Dana Johnson, and Michelle Malonzo for Fiction; Carol Anderson, Melissa Febos, Thor Hanson, Janet Webster Jones, and Oscar Villalon for Nonfiction; Kwame Dawes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Neil, and Mai Der Vang for Poetry; Nick Buzanski, Veronica Esposito, Ann Goldstein, Rohan Kamicheril, and Russell Scott Valentino for Translated Literature; and Becky Albertalli, Joseph Bruchac, Meghan Dietsche Goel, Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Lilliam Rivera for Young People’s Literature.