2012 National Book Awards Finalists Announced


The twenty finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards were announced this morning by David Steinberger, Chairman of the National Book Foundation’s Board of Directors, on (somewhat randomly) MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The finalists are a satisfying mix of established writers (five Pulitzer Prize winners, two recipients of MacArthur “Genius” grants) and fresh talent (five of the books are debut works) across four genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and YA. While we expected National Book Award darling Junot Díaz to get a nod, we were pleasantly surprised to see Dave Eggers’ newest book, which has been sort of a sleeper, on the list, and definitely psyched to see Louise Erdrich’s The Round House among the finalists. The winners will be announced on November 14. Click through to read the full list of finalists, and let us know your predictions in the comments.


Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King Louise Erdrich, The Round House Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds


Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4 Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East


David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies Tim Seibles, Fast Animal Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic Susan Wheeler, Meme


William Alexander, Goblin Secrets Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down Eliot Schrefer, Endangered Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build―and Steal―the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon