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2023 National Book Award Longlists Announced

The National Book Foundation has recently announced the longlist for the 2023 National Book Awards, featuring five finalists in each of the five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. The winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony on November 15. With a total of 496 books submitted for the fiction category alone, the competition promises to be fierce. The longlist offers a diverse range of works, showcasing the talent and creativity of the literary world. From established authors to debut voices, these books are sure to captivate readers from all walks of life.

2023 National Book Award Longlists

2023 National Book Award Longlists Announced

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Fiction Longlist

The Fiction Longlist for the 2023 National Book Award includes a diverse range of literary works from both emerging and established authors. The ten books on the longlist are:

  • “Chain-Gang All-Stars” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Published by Pantheon)
  • “Temple Folk” by Aaliyah Bilal (Published by S&S)
  • “Ponyboy” by Eliot Duncan (Published by Norton)
  • “This Other Eden” by Paul Harding (Published by Norton)
  • “Loot” by Tania James (Published by Knopf)
  • “Night Watch” by Jayne Anne Phillips (Published by Knopf)
  • “A Council of Dolls” by Mona Susan Power (Published by Mariner)
  • “The End of Drum-Time” by Hanna Pylväinen (Published by Holt)
  • “Blackouts” by Justin Torres (Published by FSG)
  • “Holler, Child” by LaToya Watkins (Published by Tiny Reparations)

These authors showcase the depth and breadth of contemporary fiction, tackling a wide range of themes and genres. From intense, thought-provoking narratives to whimsical and imaginative storytelling, the Fiction Longlist offers a rich tapestry of literary exploration.

Nonfiction Longlist

The Nonfiction Longlist for the 2023 National Book Award features ten compelling works that delve into a variety of topics and perspectives. This year’s longlisted books are:

  • “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History” by Ned Blackhawk (Published by Yale UP)
  • “King: A Life” by Jonathan Eig (Published by FSG)
  • “A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial” by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Published by Grove)
  • “The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever” by Prudence Peiffer (Published by Harper)
  • “When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era” by Donovan X. Ramsey (Published by One World)
  • “Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice” by Cristina Rivera Garza (Published by Hogarth)
  • “Ordinary Notes” by Christina Sharpe (Published by FSG)
  • “We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir” by Raja Shehadeh (Published by Other Press)
  • “Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World” by John Vaillant (Published by Knopf)
  • “I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction” by Kidada E. Williams (Published by Bloomsbury)

From deeply personal memoirs to groundbreaking historical analyses, the Nonfiction Longlist offers a range of perspectives and insights into the world around us. These works challenge our understanding of history, society, and the human experience.

2023 National Book Award Longlists Announced

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Poetry Longlist

The Poetry Longlist for the 2023 National Book Award celebrates the power of language and the beauty of verse. The ten longlisted collections are:

  • “How to Communicate” by John Lee Clark (Published by Norton)
  • “The Diaspora Sonnets” by Oliver de la Paz (Published by Liveright)
  • “Vexations” by Annelyse Gelman (Published by University of Chicago)
  • “Promises of Gold” by José Olivarez (Published by Holt)
  • “from unincorporated territory [åmot]” by Craig Santos Perez (Published by Omnidawn)
  • “West: A Translation” by Paisley Rekdal (Published by Copper Canyon)
  • “Tripas” by Brandon Som (Published by Georgia Review)
  • “Trace Evidence” by Charif Shanahan (Published by Tin House)
  • “suddenly we” by Evie Shockley (Published by Wesleyan UP)
  • “From From” by Monica Youn (Published by Graywolf)

These poets explore a wide range of themes and emotions, creating evocative and powerful verses that challenge and inspire. From personal reflections to societal commentary, the Poetry Longlist showcases the richness and diversity of contemporary poetic expression.

Translated Literature Longlist

The Translated Literature Longlist for the 2023 National Book Award highlights the art of translation and the global voices of literature. The ten longlisted books are:

  • “The Devil of the Provinces” by Juan Cárdenas, translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis (Published by Coffee House)
  • “Cursed Bunny” by Bora Chung, translated from the Korean by Anton Hur (Published by Algonquin)
  • “Beyond the Door of No Return” by David Diop, translated from the French by Sam Taylor (Published by FSG)
  • “Kairos” by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann (Published by New Directions)
  • “The Words That Remain” by Stênio Gardel, translated from the Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato (Published by New Vessel)
  • “No One Prayed Over Their Graves” by Khaled Khalifa, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price (Published by FSG)
  • “This Is Not Miami” by Fernanda Melchor, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Published by New Directions)
  • “Abyss” by Pilar Quintana, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (Published by World Editions)
  • “On a Woman’s Madness” by Astrid Roemer, translated from the Dutch by Lucy Scott (Published by Two Lines)
  • “The Most Secret Memory of Men” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud (Published by Other Press)

These works showcase the power of translation in bringing diverse and unique voices to a wider audience. Each book offers a distinct cultural perspective, highlighting the richness and complexity of global literature.

2023 National Book Award Longlists Announced

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Young People’s Literature Longlist

The Young People’s Literature Longlist for the 2023 National Book Award features ten captivating books that resonate with young readers. The longlisted books are:

  • “Simon Sort of Says” by Erin Bow (Published by Disney-Hyperion)
  • “Gather” by Kenneth M. Cadow (Published by Candlewick)
  • “Forget Me Not” by Alyson Derrick (Published by Simon & Schuster)
  • “Huda F Cares?” by Huda Fahmy (Published by Dial)
  • “Big” by Vashti Harrison (Published by Little, Brown)
  • “The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine” by Katherine Marsh (Published by Roaring Brook)
  • “Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day” by Dan Nott (Published by Random House Graphic)
  • “A First Time for Everything” by Dan Santat (Published by First Second)
  • “Parachute Kids” by Betty C. Tang (Published by Graphix)
  • “More Than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” by Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long (Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

These books engage young readers with compelling stories and thought-provoking themes. From realistic fiction to historical narratives, the Young People’s Literature Longlist presents a diverse collection of books that inspire and entertain.

Total Submissions for Each Category

The National Book Award received a significant number of submissions across all five categories. In the Fiction category, a total of 496 books were submitted, showcasing the continued vibrancy of the genre. For Nonfiction, 638 books were submitted, reflecting the breadth and depth of nonfiction writing. The Poetry category received 295 submissions, highlighting the enduring power of poetic expression. The Translated Literature category received 154 submissions, representing the global reach of literature. Lastly, the Young People’s Literature category received 348 submissions, underscoring the importance of literature for young readers.

Judging Panels

Each category has a panel of esteemed judges who will determine the finalists and winners of the 2023 National Book Award. The Fiction judges are Steph Cha, Calvin Crosby, Silas House, Mat Johnson (chair), and Helena María Viramontes. The Nonfiction judges are Hanif Abdurraqib, Ada Ferrer (chair), James Fugate, Sarah Schulman, and Sonia Shah. The Poetry judges are Rick Barot, Heid E. Erdrich (chair), Jonathan Farmer, Raina J. León, and Solmaz Sharif. The Translated Literature judges are Geoffrey Brock, Arthur Malcolm Dixon, Cristina Rodriguez, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, and Jeremy Tiang (chair). The Young People’s Literature judges are Claudette S. McLinn (chair), Sarah Park Dahlen, Kyle Lukoff, justin a. reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir. These panels of literary experts bring their knowledge and passion to the selection process, ensuring that the National Book Award recognizes the highest quality of literary works.

In conclusion, the 2023 National Book Award Longlists showcase the diverse and exceptional talent in contemporary literature. From fiction to nonfiction, poetry to translated literature, and young people’s literature, these longlisted books offer readers an opportunity to explore a range of voices, genres, and perspectives. The finalists and winners, to be announced in October and November respectively, will further highlight the outstanding achievements of these authors and their contributions to the literary landscape.