National Book Award Finalists Announced


The National Book Foundation announced the finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards earlier today. Among those singled out for praise are literary darlings Junot Diaz and Dave Eggers, career Lyndon B. Johnson biographer Robert A. Caro and late New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid. 

Below, the fiction and nonfiction finalists for this year's prize. Find out what Kirkus had to say about each of these titles. 

All the nominees for the 2012 National Book Award can be found on today's list.

The winners will be announced on November 14. Who do you think will prevail? Let us know in the comments. 





This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz

From the author of Drown (1996), more tales of Dominican life in the cold, unwelcoming United States.


hologram for the king A Hologram For the King, Dave Eggers 

A middle-aged man scrapes for his identity in a Saudi Arabian city of the future.





the round houseThe Round House, Louise Erdrich

Erdrich returns to the North Dakota Ojibwe community she introduced inThe Plague of Doves (2008)—akin but at a remove from the community she created in the continuum of books from Love Medicine to The Red Convertible—in this story about the aftermath of a rape.



haltime walk


Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain

Hailed as heroes on a stateside tour before returning to Iraq, Bravo Squad discovers just what it has been fighting for.




yellow birds

The Yellow Birds, Kevin Powers

A novel about the poetry and the pity of war.






iron curtain Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1946-56, Anne Applebaum

A Pulitzer Prize–winning author returns with the story of those dark decades in Eastern Europe when the Soviet Union slammed the prison doors on people, cultures and countries.





beautiful forevers Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo

In her debut, Pulitzer Prize–winning New Yorker staff writer Boo creates an intimate, unforgettable portrait of India’s urban poor.





passage of power The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro

The fourth volume of one of the most anticipated English-language biographies of the past 30 years. 




boy kings The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir, Domingo Martinez

Seattle-based Latino journalist Martinez recalls his youthful adventures in the 1980s romping around the border town of Brownsville, Texas. 




house of stone House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East, Anthony Shadid

A nostalgic, bittersweet journey back to the Lebanese homestead.



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