NEW YORK – Anthony Doerr, Richard Powers and Lauren Groff are among this years nominees on the National Book Awards' fiction longlist, which also includes Honorée Fanonne Jeffers' epic debut novel “The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois,” already an Oprah Winfrey selection and finalist for the Kirkus Prize.
Doerr's “Cloud Cuckoo Land” is his first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning “All the Light We Cannot See” and Powers' “Bewilderment” is his first book since the Pulitzer winning “The Overstory.” Groff's “Matrix” is her third consecutive work to receive a National Book Award nomination, following “Fates and Furies” and the story collection “Florida.”
Other works cited Friday by the National Book Foundation are Jakob Guanzon's “Abundance,” Laird Hunt's “Zorrie,” Robert Jones, Jr.'s “The Prophets,” Katie Kitamura's “Intimacies,” Elizabeth McCracken's “The Souvenir Museum: Stories” and Jason Mott's “Hell of a Book.”
Judges also bypassed some notable fiction of 2021, including Colson Whitehead's “Harlem Shuffle," Jonathan Franzen's “Crossroads” and two finalists for the Booker Prize: Patricia Lockwood's “No One Is Talking About This" and Maggie Shipstead's “Great Circle.”
The foundation released lists of 10 this week in five competitive categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translation and young people's literature. Awards judges will narrow the lists on Oct. 5 and winners, each of whom receive $10,000, will be announced Nov. 17 at a ceremony in Manhattan. The foundation plans to hand out the awards in person after holding a virtual event in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Two honorary National Book Awards have already been announced: Author-playwright Karen Tei Yamashita for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and author-librarian Nancy Pearl for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
The awards, established in 1950 and long presented by the nonprofit book foundation, are chosen by panels of five which include authors, critics and other members of the literary community. Judges in each category evaluated hundreds of works before deciding on the longlists.
A full list of nominees can be found on https://www.nationalbook.org/awards-prizes/national-book-awards-2021/