National Book Award Longlist Nominees

In 1950, the literary community came together for the first-ever National Book Awards. Created to “celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America,” the National Book Award is one of the most prestigious honors a writer can receive.

The prize is awarded to one book in each of four categories: nonfiction, fiction, young adult literature, and poetry. The longlists of nominees for each category are out, the finalists will be announced on October 4, and the winners will be announced on November 15.

If you’re looking for the next book to dive into, listen to one of the nominees on audio:

Fiction

The King Is Always Above the People

A slyly political collection of stories about immigration, broken dreams, Los Angeles gang members, and Latin American families, and other tales of high-stakes journeys.
Listen to an excerpt The King Is Always Above the People

Nonfiction

Democracy in Chains

An explosive exposé of the right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, and change the Constitution. It tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok.
Listen to an excerpt Democracy in Chains

The Future Is History
Author: Masha Gessen
Read By: Masha Gessen

This charts the lives of four individuals and their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war that regime waged on understanding itself, ensuring the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state.
Listen to an excerpt The Future Is History

Killers of the Flower Moon

A twisting, haunting, true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous (and forgotten) crimes in American history. In the 1920s, more than two dozen Osage Indians in Oklahoma were murdered. The story follows the terribly bungled FBI investigation.
Listen to an excerpt Killers of the Flower Moon

Young People’s Literature

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

This is a poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny novel about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home. 
Listen to an excerpt I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

You Bring the Distant Near

This elegant novel captures, with humor and heart, the immigrant experience of one Indian-American family. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, it explores sisterhood, first love, friendship, and the inheritance of culture, for better or worse.
Listen to an excerpt You Bring the Distant Near

 

For the full list of longlisted nominees, including those for poetry, visit the National Book Foundation.