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National Book Awards 2021 Finalists Announced

2021 National Book Awards Finalists Announced

The twenty-five Finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature were announced with NYTimes.com. The five Finalists in each category were selected by a distinguished panel of literary experts, and were advanced from the Longlists announced in September.

Between the five categories, there are five writers and two translators who have been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Hanif Abdurraqib, a 2019 Nonfiction Longlister; Anthony Doerr, a 2014 Fiction Finalist; Nona Fernández and Natasha Wimmer, 2019 Translated Literature Longlisters; Lauren Groff, a Finalist for Fiction in 2015 and in 2018; Kekla Magoon, a 2015 Young People’s Literature Longlister; and Leri Price, a 2019 Translated Literature Finalist. All five of the Finalists for Poetry are first-time National Book Award honorees. Four of the twenty-five Finalists are debuts.

Publishers submitted a total of 1,892 books for this year’s National Book Awards: 415 in Fiction, 679 in Nonfiction, 290 in Poetry, 164 in Translated Literature, and 344 in Young People’s Literature. Judges’ decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and Board of Directors; deliberations are strictly confidential.

The Winners will be announced live on Wednesday, November 17 at the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony, which will be held exclusively online. Two lifetime achievement awards will also be presented as part of the evening’s ceremony: Karen Tei Yamashita will be recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and Nancy Pearl will receive the Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, presented by Ron Charles. See the full list of finalists at the National Book Awards web site.

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