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Here Are The Longlist Nominees For This Year's National Book Awards

Piotr Wytrążek

Updated September 17, 2021 at 10:15 AM ET

The longlists for the National Book Awards are here — 40 titles, representing a broad range of new voices, previous nominees, debuts and book-world veterans.

You can click on the links below to jump to the individual lists, and we've included links to some great reviews and interviews with the nominated authors.

Finalists will be announced October 5th, and we're set to find out the winners November 17th during a live ceremony at a New York City venue — a return to form after last year's pandemic-induced virtual broadcast. But there will be virtual elements, and for those who can't make it to New York, the event will still be streaming live.

Translated Literature
Young People's Literature


  • Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land
  • Lauren Groff, Matrix
  • Jakob Guanzon, Abundance
  • Laird Hunt, Zorrie
  • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Robert Jones, Jr., The Prophets
  • Katie Kitamura, Intimacies
  • Elizabeth McCracken, The Souvenir Museum: Stories
  • Jason Mott, Hell of a Book
  • Richard Powers, Bewilderment
  • Nonfiction

  • Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
  • Lucas Bessire, Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains
  • Grace M. Cho, Tastes Like War: A Memoir
  • Scott Ellsworth, The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice
  • Nicole Eustace, Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America
  • Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
  • Louis Menand, The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War
  • Tiya Miles, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
  • Clint Smith, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
  • Deborah Willis, The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship
  • Poetry

  • Threa Almontaser, The Wild Fox of Yemen
  • Baba Badji, Ghost Letters
  • Desiree C. Bailey, What Noise Against the Cane
  • CM Burroughs, Master Suffering
  • Andrés Cerpa, The Vault
  • Martín Espada, Floaters
  • Forrest Gander, Twice Alive
  • Douglas Kearney, Sho
  • Hoa Nguyen, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure
  • Jackie Wang, The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void
  • Translated Literature

  • Maryse Condé, Waiting for the Waters to Rise, translated from the French by Richard Philcox
  • Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho, translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
  • Ge Fei, Peach Blossom Paradise, translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse
  • Nona Fernández, The Twilight Zone, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
  • Bo-Young Kim, On the Origin of Species and Other Stories, translated from the Korean by Joungmin Lee Comfort and Sora Kim-Russell
  • Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World, translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
  • Elvira Navarro, Rabbit Island: Stories, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
  • Judith Schalansky, An Inventory of Losses, translated from the German by Jackie Smith
  • Maria Stepanova, In Memory of Memory, translated from the Russian by Sasha Dugale
  • Samar Yazbek, Planet of Clay, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price
  • Young People's Literature

  • Safia Elhillo, Home Is Not a Country
  • Shing Yin Khor, The Legend of Auntie Po
  • Darcie Little Badger, A Snake Falls to Earth
  • Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club
  • Kyle Lukoff, Too Bright to See
  • Kekla Magoon, Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People
  • Amber McBride, Me (Moth)
  • Anna-Marie McLemore, The Mirror Season
  • Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrations by Floyd Cooper, Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
  • Paula Yoo, From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement
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    Petra Mayer died on November 13, 2021. She has been remembered by friends and colleagues, including all of us at NPR. The Petra Mayer Memorial Fund for Internships has been created in her honor.
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