2010 National Book Award Finalists Announced

October 13, 2010 | 15 books mentioned 1 2 min read

Award season is hitting its stride, and this year’s National Book Award finalists have been announced. This year’s fiction list includes something of an invasion from overseas, with Peter Carey, surely the first Booker shortlister to also be a National Book Award finalist (but eligible for both because the Australian-born author is now a U.S. citizen), and Lionel Shriver, who, though a U.S. citizen is often more commonly associated with London, where she makes her home.

The nomination for Shriver validates a provactively titled piece that ran in these pages this year, Lionel Shriver: America’s Best Writer?, which suggested that she deserves far more critical attention. Rounding out the fiction list are Nicole Krauss, recently lauded as a New Yorker “20 Under 40” writer, and a pair of relative unknowns Jaimy Gordon and Karen Tei Yamashita, each writing for small indie presses, McPherson and Coffee House, respectively. Also notable, the fiction finalist number four women versus one male author, and Jonathan Franzen and his blockbuster literary novel Freedom are nowhere to be found.

The other big name to note is rocker Patti Smith, who earned a nod for her memoir.

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

Fiction:

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Nonfiction:

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Poetry:

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Young People’s Literature:

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

One comment:

  1. Seems to me the National Book Award should split history off into its own category and leave non-fiction for other types of works, like the two memoirs here. These two types of non-fiction are just too different. (I’m pulling for Patti Smith.)

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