National Book Awards Finalists 2011


L. McMaken
Cincinnati, OH


The National Book Awards have just announced their finalists for 2011. First organized in 1950 to highlight the best in American literature, many past reciepients have become symbolic icons of classic American prose – William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, Wallace Stevens, Rachel Carson, Ralph Ellison, W.H. Auden, Marianne Moore, and Bernard Malamud.

Awards are given in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult literature. Here are the nominees for 2011:

Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn
Téa ObrehtThe Tiger’s Wife
Julie OtsukaThe Buddha in the Attic
Edith PearlmanBinocular Vision
Jesmyn WardSalvage the Bones

Deborah Baker, The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism
Mary GabrielLove and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution
Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
Manning MarableMalcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Lauren RednissRadioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout


Nikky FinneyHead Off & Split
Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch
Carl PhillipsDouble Shadow
Adrienne RichTonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010
Bruce SmithDevotions

Franny BillingsleyChime
Debby Dahl EdwardsonMy Name Is Not Easy
Thanhha LaiInside Out and Back Again
Albert MarrinFlesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy
Lauren MyracleShine
Gary D. SchmidtOkay for Now

The winners will be announced during a reception on November 16, 2011 in New York. Two additional awards will be given at the ceremony; the 2011 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters will be awarded to poet John Ashbery. Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of the Miami Book Fair International will receive the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. The event will be hosted by actor, John Lithgow.