National Book Awards 2019 Finalists Announced


On Tuesday 8th October, 2019 twenty-five (25) finalists for the 2019 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature (YPL) were announced.

Publishers submitted a total of 1,712 books for this year’s National Book Awards: 397 in Fiction, 600 in Nonfiction, 245 in Poetry, 145 in Translated Literature, and 325 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 on Wednesday 20th November, 2019  at the 70th National Book Awards Ceremony.

Below is a complete list of the 2019 finalists in fiction, nonfiction, translated literature, young people’s literature and poetry.


  • Susan Choi – Trust Exercise
  • Kali Fajardo-Anstine – Sabrina & Corina: Stories
  • Marlon James –Black Leopard, Red Wolf
  • Laila Lalami – The Other Americans
  • Julia Phillips – Disappearing Earth
  • Sarah M. Broom – The Yellow House
  • Tressie McMillan Cottom – Thick: And Other Essays
  • Carolyn Forché – What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance
  • David Treuer – The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present
  • Albert Woodfox with Leslie George – Solitary


  • Khaled Khalifa – Death Is Hard Work

Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price

  • László Krasznahorkai – Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming

Translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet

  • Scholastique Mukasonga – The Barefoot Woman

Translated from the French by Jordan Stump

  • Yoko Ogawa – The Memory Police

Translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder

  • Pajtim Statovci – Crossing

Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston

  • Akwaeke Emezi – Pet
  • Jason Reynolds -Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • Randy Ribay – Patron Saints of Nothing
  • Laura Ruby – Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
  • Martin W. Sandler – 1919: The Year That Changed America
  • Jericho Brown – The Tradition
  • Toi Derricotte – “I”: New and Selected Poems
  • Ilya Kaminsky – Deaf Republic
  • Carmen Giménez Smith – Be Recorder
  • Arthur Sze – Sight Lines

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