Hot on the heels of Howard Jacobson’s Man Booker Prize win yesterday, the finalists for this year’s National Book Awards have been announced. We’re not sure what we find more surprising: the fact that Jonathan Franzen isn’t here, or that Patti Smith made the cut with her memoir Just Kids, which chronicles her intense friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe (check out our review here.) We only hope that she wins! Click through to peruse the list of finalists for Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry, and let us know in the comments who you’re rooting for. The winners will be announced at an official ceremony on November 17th.
Fiction Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Alfred A. Knopf) Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (McPherson & Co.) Nicole Krauss, Great House (W.W. Norton & Co.) Lionel Shriver, So Much for That (Harper) Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (Coffee House Press)
Nonfiction Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (Spiegel & Grau) John W. Dower, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq (W.W. Norton & Co./The New Press) Patti Smith, Just Kids (Ecco) Justin Spring, Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Megan K. Stack, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War (Doubleday)
Poetry Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City (Princeton University Press) Terrance Hayes, Lighthead (Viking Penguin) James Richardson, By the Numbers (Copper Canyon Press) C.D. Wright, One with Others (Copper Canyon Press) Monica Youn, Ignatz (Four Way Books)