2008 National Book Award Finalists Announced

October 15, 2008 | 15 books mentioned 2

Award season is hitting a its stride, and this year’s National Book Award finalists have been announced. Looking at our speculative post of a couple weeks ago, we pegged Marilynne Robinson and Aleksandar Hemon as likely fiction finalists (kudos to Garth on guessing both). Joining them is 81-year-old Peter Matthiessen for a book that, as the AP notes, is “an 890-page revision of a trilogy of novels he released in the 1990s.” The other two fiction finalists, meanwhile, are somewhat more obscure. Not making the fiction cut are notable writers like Philip Roth, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Geraldine Brooks. Here’s a list of the finalists in all four categories with bonus links and excerpts where available:







Young People’s Literature:


created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. I'm psyched to see Sal Scibona's book up there.

    It's a really solid book–definitely worth checking out. Don't know why I didn't think of it when we were making predictions a few weeks ago.

  2. It'll be Matthiessen. These rewards reverence age, and besides, "Shadow Country" is a masterpiece thirty years in the making.

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