Fiction writer Lauren Groff and poet Terrance Hayes are among the finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards announced this morning by the National Book Foundation. Groff, whose “Fates and Furies” was President Obama’s favorite novel of 2015, is up for the fiction prize for her new short-story collection, “Florida.” Hayes, who won the National Book Award for Poetry for “Lighthead” in 2010, is a finalist this year for his new collection called “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin.”
The finalists for nonfiction include two books about the early history of the United States: “The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation,” by Colin G. Calloway, and “American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic,” by Victoria Johnson.
M.T. Anderson is a finalist for the Young People’s Literature award for “The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge,” illustrated by Eugene Yelchin. Anderson won the award in 2006 for “The Pox Party.”
Wednesday morning’s news was particularly exciting for Graywolf Press, a small publisher in Minneapolis that has two books among the finalists: “A Lucky Man,” a debut story collection by Jamel Brinkley (fiction), and “Eye Level,” by Jenny Xie (poetry).
The winners of this year’s National Book Awards will be revealed at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 14. Each winning author will receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture. Each finalist will receive $1,000.
This year the foundation added a fifth category: translated literature. Judges for this new award considered works of fiction and nonfiction by authors around the world. The other four categories — fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature — are limited to books by authors who are U.S. citizens.
Here are all the finalists for the 2018 awards:
“A Lucky Man,” by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf).
“Florida,” by Lauren Groff (Riverhead). Read our review.
“Where the Dead Sit Talking,” by Brandon Hobson (Soho).
“The Great Believers,” by Rebecca Makkai (Viking).
“The Friend,” by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead).
“The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation,” by Colin G. Calloway (Oxford University Press).
“American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic,” by Victoria Johnson (Liveright).
“Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth,” by Sarah Smarsh (Scribner). Read our review.
“The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke,” by Jeffrey C. Stewart (Oxford University Press).
“We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights,” by Adam Winkler (Liveright). Read our review.
Young People’s Literature
“The Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen)
“The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge,” by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin (Candlewick)
“The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle,” by Leslie Connor (Katherine Tegen)
“The Journey of Little Charlie,” by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic)
“Hey, Kiddo,” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Scholastic/Graphix)
“Wobble,” by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press). Read our review.
“American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin,” by Terrance Hayes (Penguin). Read our review.
“Ghost Of,” by Diana Khoi Nguyen (Omnidawn).
“Indecency,” by Justin Phillip Reed (Coffee House).
“Eye Level,” by Jenny Xie (Graywolf). Read our review.
“Disoriental, by Négar Djavadi, translated from French by Tina Kover (Europa).
“Love,” by Hanne Orstavik, translated from Norwegian by Martin Aitken (Archipelago).
“Trick,” by Domenico Starnone, translated from Italian by Jhumpa Lahiri (Europa). Read our review.
“The Emissary,” by Yoko Tawada, translated from Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani (New Directions).
“Flights,” by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft (Riverhead)
To be eligible, books for this year’s prizes must have been published between Dec. 1, 2017 and Nov. 30, 2018. The National Book Awards were established in 1950.
Ron Charles writes about books for The Washington Post and hosts TotallyHipVideoBookReview.com.