National Book Award Nominees 2020
Listen to National Book Award Finalists on Audio

The 2020 National Book Award finalists have been announced, and Penguin Random House Audio is thrilled to publish the audiobook editions of 6 of the contenders. With the award ceremony coming up on Wednesday, November 18, you still have time to add these outstanding narratives to your listening queue…and speculate on who might emerge the winner in each category.


From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.

“Joel de la Fuente gives a spectacular performance filled with drama, theatrics, and razzle-dazzle that beautifully showcases Charles Yu’s satire of Asians in America, told in a funky screenplay format.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner


One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

“Powerful, eye-opening, and important, this audiobook, narrated by the author, is a must-listen.”—AudioFile

Translated Literature

Author: Yu Miri and Morgan Giles
Read By: Johnny Heller

A powerful masterwork from one of Japan’s most brilliant outsider writers, Tokyo Ueno Station is a book for our times and a look into a marginalized existence in a shiny global megapolis.

“Heller’s powerful performance adds to the emotional and lyrical qualities of this poignant story.”—AudioFile

Young Peoples Literature

Author: Candice Iloh
Read By: Candice Iloh

When Ada leaves home for her freshman year at a Historically Black College, it’s the first time she’s ever been so far from her family. As she stumbles deeper into the world of dance and explores her sexuality, she also begins to wrestle with her past.

Heartbreak and hope exist together in this remarkable novel about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

“The audiobook edition of Omar Mohamed’s autobiography, originally a graphic novel account co-authored with Victoria Jamieson, offers listeners an experience of perfection in its storytelling, format shifting, and performance.”—Booklist, starred review

Discover more in Meet the Cast: When Stars are Scattered.

Drawing inspiration from the Jewish folk tradition, The Way Back is a dark adventure sure to captivate readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust.