The shortlists for the 2023 National Book Awards have been revealed, with 25 books in contention for the prestigious American literary prizes.
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah was named a finalist in the fiction category for Chain-Gang All-Stars, along with Aaliyah Bilal for Temple Folk, Paul Harding for This Other Eden, Hanna Pylväinen for The End of Drum-Time, and Justin Torres for Blackouts.
Shortlisted in the nonfiction category are Ned Blackhawk for The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History; Cristina Rivera Garza for Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice; Christina Sharpe for Ordinary Notes; Raja Shehadeh for We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir; and John Vaillant for Fire Weather: A True Story From a Hotter World.
The poetry finalists are How To Communicate by John Lee Clark, from unincorporated territory [åmot] by Craig Santos Perez, suddenly we by Evie Shockley, Tripas by Brandon Som, and From From by Monica Youn.
Making the translated literature shortlist were Cursed Bunny, written by Bora Chung and translated by Anton Hur; Beyond the Door of No Return, written by David Diop and translated by Sam Taylor; The Words That Remain, written by Stênio Gardel and translated by Bruna Dantas Lobato; Abyss, written by Pilar Quintana and translated by Lisa Dillman; and On a Woman’s Madness, written by Astrid Roemer and translated by Lucy Scott.
In young people’s literature, the finalists are Kenneth M. Cadow for Gather, Huda Fahmy for Huda F Cares?, Vashti Harrison for Big, Katherine Marsh for The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine, and Dan Santat for A First Time for Everything.
The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 15.
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.