The National Book Foundation, on September 13–15, announced the longlists for the 2023 National Book Awards. The awards are split into five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.
These are the longlisted titles:
Authors at various stages of their careers are represented on the list of nominees, which includes a debut novel and a debut short story collection. Here are the books that stood out among the 496 submissions:
- Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
- Temple Folk by Aaliyah Bilal
- Ponyboy by Eliot Duncan
- This Other Eden by Paul Harding
- Loot by Tania James
- Night Watch by Jayne Anne Phillips
- A Council of Dolls by Mona Susan Power
- The End of Drum-Time by Hanna Pylväinen
- Blackouts by Justin Torres
- Holler, Child by LaToya Watkins
Silas House, Mat Johnson, Helena María Viramontes, Steph Cha, and Calvin Crosby sit in the judging panel for this year’s Fiction prize.
Both new and known authors are longlisted for the nonfiction category, and it includes memoir, science writing, biographies, and investigative works among other themes. These are the longlisted books:
- The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History by Ned Blackhawk
- King: A Life by Jonathan Eig
- A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever by Prudence Peiffer
- When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era by Donovan X. Ramsey
- Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice by Cristina Rivera Garza
- Ordinary Notes by Christina Sharpe
- We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir by Raja Shehadeh
- Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World by John Vaillant
- I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction by Kidada E. Williams
This year’s judges include James Fugate, Ada Ferrer, Sonia Shah, Sarah Schulman, and Hanif Abdurraqib.
The poets on the longlist are at various stages of their careers, including several National Endowment for the Arts Fellows. These are the standouts:
- How to Communicate by John Lee Clark
- The Diaspora Sonnets by Oliver de la Paz
- Vexations by Annelyse Gelman
- Promises of Gold by José Olivarez
- from unincorporated territory [åmot] by Craig Santos Perez
- West: A Translation by Paisley Rekdal
- Tripas by Brandon Som
- Trace Evidence by Charif Shanahan
- suddenly we by Evie Shockley
- From From by Monica Youn
The judging panel for this year’s poetry prize includes Raina J. León, Solmaz Sharif, Heid E. Erdrich, Rick Barot, and Jonathan Farmer.
The 10 books in this category were originally published in seven different languages: Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. They are as follows:
- The Devil of the Provinces by Juan Cárdenas, translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis
- Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated from the Korean by Anton Hur
- Beyond the Door of No Return by David Diop, translated from the French by Sam Taylor
- Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann
- The Words That Remain by Stênio Gardel, translated from the Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato
- No One Prayed Over Their Graves by Khaled Khalifa, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price
- This Is Not Miami by Fernanda Melchor, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes
- Abyss by Pilar Quintana, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman
- On a Woman’s Madness by Astrid Roemer, translated from the Dutch by Lucy Scott
- The Most Secret Memory of Men by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud
The judges are Jeremy Tiang, Cristina Rodriguez, Geoffrey Brock, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, and Arthur Malcolm Dixon.
Young People’s Literature
This year’s young adult longlist includes 11 first-time nominees for the National Book Awards. The majority are prose fiction titles, but the 10 longlisted books below also include a picture book and two graphic novels. Here they are:
- Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow
- Gather by Kenneth M. Cadow
- Forget Me Not by Alyson Derrick
- Huda F Cares? by Huda Fahmy
- Big by Vashti Harrison
- The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine by Katherine Marsh
- Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day by Dan Nott
- A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat
- Parachute Kids by Betty C. Tang
- More Than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom by Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long
Sabaa Tahir, Claudette S. McLinn, Justin A. Reynolds, Kyle Lukoff, and Sarah Park Dahlen are among the judges for this year’s Young People’s Literature award.
25 finalists will be announced on October 3rd, and then the winners in each category will be revealed on November 15th in New York City at an in-person and online awards ceremony. Viewers are encouraged to sign up on National Book Foundation’s website in order to watch the ceremony live online.
Each winner will receive $10,000, while each finalist will get $1,000. The author and translator share an equal share of the prize money for the Translated Literature category. In co-authored works, prizes are distributed equally among the authors.
Earlier this week, the National Book Foundation rescinded its offer to Drew Barrymore to host the awards ceremony after she had announced that she would resume working on her talk show amid the union strikes.