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National Book Award Nominees Announced

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Here are this year's National Book Award nominees, announced this morning by Scott Turow in Chicago. (I'm including our sales rank, as of about 11 am Pacific time this morning, for each book--I'm curious how those will change as a result of the nominations, so I'll check back in with updates over the next few weeks):

Fiction:

Nonfiction:

Poetry:

Young People's Literature:

As always, I find the field of good American fiction too wide to see many snubs--unlike last year, with Denis Johnson and Junot Diaz, no novel has really stepped forward as a major book this year so far. Probably the best reviewed American novel this year (Netherland), is by a Brit, as are many of my own fiction favorites (My Revolutions, Pravda, The Northern Clemency). I did think Home was very good, and it's good to see Hemon and great to see Rachel Kushner there for her debut (see my interview with her from July). The news on that list (for me at least) is The End, another first novel: I have to confess this is the first I've heard of it, but based on the reviews on our page for it, I want to track down a copy ASAP. There are only five customer reviews so far, but you can hear a chorus of jaws hitting the floor: one "WOW," one "wow," one "WHOA!", one "astonishing," and one "astonished."

On the other lists, we should have a Q&A with Annette Gordon-Reed soon on her book on the Hemings and Jefferson families (or, I should say, family). And on the Young People's list, a lot of people will just be discovering those picks: the last three books have not been released yet (they'll be available this month and next), which helps to explain the low (and in one case nonexistent) sales ranks. And a shout-out to our Lauren Nemroff, who pegged The Underneath as a future award winner on our Best of the Month page back in May.

The winners will be announced on November 19. --Tom

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The End is an amazing novel, and I'm ecstatic the judges chose to recognize it.

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