The fiction longlist contains a striking range of books, by foreign-born and native American citizens, debut authors and the country’s most celebrated novelists. The forms and subjects are also remarkably diverse, including novels and short stories, historical fiction and science fiction. Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven,” about a flu epidemic that wipes out most of the world’s population, offers a horrifying extrapolation of today’s news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. And “Redeployment,” by former military PsyOps specialist Phil Klay, offers what reviewer Jeff Turrentine called “the most compelling depictions to date of the Iraq war.”
The 10 books on the longlist are:
“An Unnecessary Woman” (Grove), by Rabih Alameddine.
“The UnAmericans” (Norton), by Molly Antopol, one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Authors.
“Wolf in White Van” (FSG), a debut novel by John Darnielle, a member of the band the Mountain Goats.
“Redeployment” (The Penguin Press), a debut collection by Iraq War vet Phil Klay.
“Station Eleven” (Knopf), by Emily St. John Mandel, a staff writer at the Millions.
“Thunderstruck & Other Stories” (Dial), by Elizabeth McCracken, whose novel “The Giant’s House” (1996) was a finalist for the National Book Award.
“Lila” (FSG), by Marilynne Robinson. This novel is a companion to “Gilead” and “Home,” which won the Pulitzer Prize.
“Some Luck” (Knopf), by Jane Smiley, who won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for “A Thousand Acres.”
This longlist will be trimmed to five finalists on Oct. 15.
The judges for this year’s NBA Fiction Prize are Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Geraldine Brooks and Adam Johnson, California bookseller Sheryl Cotleur, literary critic Michael Gorra and National Book Award-winning novelist Lily Tuck.
Books written by U.S. citizens and published in the United States from Dec. 1, 2013, to Nov. 30, 2014, are eligible for this year’s National Book Awards.