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National Book Award finalists announced, include Ta-Nehisi Coates and Hanya Yanagihara

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of "Between the World and Me" (Spiegel and Grau, July 2015) Credit: Nina Subin

Twenty finalists for the National Book Awards were announced Wednesday on NPR’s “Morning Edition” program. Among the finalists for fiction were Hanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life,” which was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize the night before in London, and the story collection “Fortune Smiles” by Adam Johnson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2012 novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son.” 

Nonfiction finalists include “Between the World and Me,” a memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates about growing up black in America, and Sy Montgomery’s “The Soul of an Octopus,” about the surprising consciousness of these invertebrates.

Five finalists each were announced in the categories of Poetry and Young People’s Literature as well. Among them were Terrance Hayes for his collection of poems “How To Be Drawn” and Noelle Stevenson for her YA graphic novel “Nimona.”

Out of the 20 authors, only two (poet Hayes and YA author Steve Sheinkin) have been finalists for a National Book Award previously.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 18. Winners receive $10,000 each; finalists $1,000.

A complete list of the finalists can be found on the National Book Foundation website.


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