2012 National Book Award Finalists Announced (With Excerpts and Bonus Links)

By posted at 10:12 am on October 10, 2012 10

Award season is in full swing, and this year’s National Book Award finalists have just been announced on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”. After two years in a row of the fiction finalists numbering four women versus one male author, the gender count is reversed this time. The list also includes some very well-known names (Junot Dí­az, fresh off his Genius Grant, is a previous Pulitzer winner; Dave Eggers is a former Pulitzer finalist; and Louse Erdrich is a former NBCC Award winner). This is something of a departure from the more obscure focus of recent years.

In nonfiction, Anthony Shadid got a posthumous nod after he dies while reporting from Syria.

Here’s a list of the finalists in all four categories with bonus links and excerpts where available:







Young People’s Literature:


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10 Responses to “2012 National Book Award Finalists Announced (With Excerpts and Bonus Links)”

  1. Thor
    at 1:22 pm on October 10, 2012

    This is How You Lose Her came out less than a month ago and it’s already being considered? Can’t imagine why this award is losing its prestige.

  2. Bat of Moon
    at 3:16 pm on October 10, 2012

    In recent years, the National has been nominating more and more small press books and books by new writers — this is an extremely middle-of-the-road bestseller oriented list of fiction nominees. Heck, I’ve read three of the five and have the other two on my to-be-read pile. Often, I haven’t heard of the majority of nominees. Not sure what this means, other than it looks more like a list of Pulitzer finalists.

  3. | Kommafeil
    at 3:17 pm on October 10, 2012

    […] Walk» som besynderlig nok begge handler om soldater i Irak-krigen.Les mer om de nominerte hos for eksempel The Millions.Jeg tror jeg tar en kikk på poetene. Som for eksempel Cyntia Huntington og «Heavenly […]

  4. Bat of Moon
    at 3:20 pm on October 10, 2012

    The Round House and The Yellow Birds were also published in the last month — Birds is reviewed this week on the cover of the NYRBR. The fiction list looks like what one would glean from a visit last week to the new books table at an independent bookstore. It saves time, anyway.

  5. Barnstorm | Wednesday Linkstorm
    at 4:26 pm on October 10, 2012

    […] National Book Award finalists are out. Fiction finalists include Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Ben Fountain, Kevin […]

  6. michelle
    at 12:01 am on October 11, 2012

    Um, Thor? There’s this thing called a galley….

  7. ZK
    at 10:34 am on October 11, 2012

    Thor, What Michelle said. There’s a deadline by which the book need be submitted, not a deadline by which it needs to be on a table for sale.

    Also, Thor: we’re awarding you a National Book Award. Now has it “lost its prestige.” Give me a break.

    I think this list is great: Fountain, Diaz, and Powers have written books that will be remembered in 25 years. I particularly like that they didn’t go for the We’re Going to Nominate Books You SHOULD Have Heard About list. Because I honestly can’t remember any of the small press books from previous years, even the ones I read.

    Plus it’s the NBA 2012…I’m not sure why books from October should be excluded…

  8. Bat of Moon
    at 11:25 am on October 11, 2012

    Am reading The Yellow Birds. It’s strong.

  9. More Award Announcements | Cliffside Park Library's Blog
    at 4:47 pm on October 17, 2012

    […] Book Awards have announced the finalists. You can read about it here and here. I’m reading Round House by Louise Erdrich right now and so far it’s very […]

  10. Tony S.
    at 4:00 pm on November 15, 2012

    I have read “The Round House”, “The Yellow Birds”, “This is How You Lose Her”, and “A Hologram for the King”.

    I would have given the award to “A Hologram for the King” which was far superior to the rest.

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