The 2016 National Book Award nominations are in!
Presented every year by the National Book Foundation, the NBAs are designed to celebrate the best of American literature. They were established in 1950, and in the past they’ve recognized writers like William Carlos Williams, Ralph Ellison, and Marianne Moore.
This year’s nominees include some familiar faces, like Jacqueline Woodson, who won an NBA in 2014 for her children’s memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming, and is nominated this year for her first adult novel in 20 years, Another Brooklyn.
And while most of the 2016 nominees haven’t won the NBA before, many are already well-laureled in the literary world. Rita Dove, nominated for her Collected Poems: 1974–2004, is a former US poet laureate. Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer-winning novelist, is nominated for his nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. And while it may not be an "official" prize, Oprah honored Colson Whitehead’s acclaimed Underground Railroad earlier this year when she chose it for her book club.
One nominee, however, is best known for his work in politics. Congress member and civil rights hero John Lewis is nominated for March: Book Three, the final volume in his graphic novel memoir series.
The full list of nominees is below. The winners will be announced on November 16.
- Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special
- Paulette Jiles, News of the World
- Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs
- Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
- Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn
- Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
- Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
- Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War
- Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
- Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
- Daniel Borzutzky, The Performance of Becoming Human
- Rita Dove, Collected Poems 1974–2004
- Peter Gizzi, Archeophonics
- Jay Hopler, The Abridged History of Rainfall
- Solmaz Sharif, Look