2021 National Book Awards Finalists

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization.  Awards are given for young people's literature, translation, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction.  The 2021 shortlists and longlists are listed below—keep an eye out for this year's winners!


Fiction Shortlist:

Book cover: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr Book cover: Matrix by Lauren Groff Book cover: Zorrie by Laird Hunt Book cover: The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. Book cover: Hell of a Book by Jason Mott


Book cover: The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers Book cover: Abundance by Jakob Guanzon Book cover: Intimacies by Katie Kitamura Book cover: The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCrecken Book cover: Bewilderment by Richard Powers


Translated Literature Shortlist:

Book cover: Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin, translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins Book cover: Peach Blossom Paradise by Ge Fei, translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse Book cover: The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer Book cover: When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West Book cover: Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek, Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price


Book cover: On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim, translated from the Korean by Joungmin Lee Comfort and Sora Kim-Russell Book cover: In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from the Russian by Sasha Dugdale Book cover: Waiting for the Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé, translated from the French by Richard Philcox Book cover: An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky, translated from the German by Jackie Smith  Book cover: Rabbit Island: Stories by Elvira Navarro, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney


Nonfiction Shortlist:

Book cover: Running Out by Lucas Bessire Book cover: Tastes Like War by Grace Cho Book cover: A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqir Book cover: Covered With Night by Nicole Eustacce Book cover: All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles


Book cover: The Ground Breaking by Scott Ellsworth Book cover: The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee Book cover: The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War by Louis Menard Book cover: How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith Book cover: The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship by Deborah Willis


Poetry Shortlist:

Book cover: Sho by Douglas Kearney Book cover: What Noise Against the Cane by Desiree C. Bailey Book cover: The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser Book cover: A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure by Hoa Nguyen Book cover: The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void by Jackie Wang


Book cover: Ghost Letters by Baba Badji Book cover: The Vault by Andrés Cerpa Book cover: Twice Alive by Forrest Gander Book cover: Master Suffering by CM Burroughs Book cover: Floaters by Martín Espada


Young People's Literature Shortlist:

Book cover: The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor Book cover: Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo Book cover: Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff Book cover: Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon Book cover: Me (Moth) by Amber McBride


Book cover: Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo Book cover: A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger Book cover: The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore Book cover: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrations by Floyd Cooper Book cover: From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo


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