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National Book Awards 2021 shortlists announced

In the US, the finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles are:


  • Cloud Cuckoo Land (Anthony Doerr, Fourth Estate)
  • Matrix (Lauren Groff, William Heinemann)
  • Zorrie (Laird Hunt, Bloomsbury)
  • The Prophets (Robert Jones Jr, riverrun)
  • Hell of a Book (Jason Mott, Trapeze)


  • A Little Devil in America: Notes in praise of black performance (Hanif Abdurraqib, Allen Lane)
  • Running Out: In search of water on the high plains (Lucas Bessire, Princeton University Press)
  • Tastes Like War: A memoir (Grace M Cho, Feminist Press)
  • Covered with Night: A story of murder and Indigenous justice in early America (Nicole Eustace, Liveright)
  • All That She Carried: The journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black family keepsake (Tiya Miles, Random House)


  • What Noise Against the Cane (Desiree C Bailey, Yale University Press)
  • Floaters (Martín Espada, W W Norton)
  • Sho (Douglas Kearney, Wave Books)
  • A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure (Hoa Nguyen, Wave Books)
  • The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void (Jackie Wang, Nightboat Books)

Translated Literature

  • Winter in Sokcho (Elisa Shua Dusapin, trans by Aneesa Abbas Higgins, Scribe)
  • Peach Blossom Paradise (Ge Fei, trans by Canaan Morse, New York Review Books)
  • The Twilight Zone (Nona Fernández, trans by Natasha Wimmer, Graywolf Press)
  • When We Cease to Understand the World (Benjamín Labatut, trans by Adrian Nathan West, Pushkin)
  • Planet of Clay (Samar Yazbek, trans by Leri Price, World Editions)

Young People’s Literature

  • The Legend of Auntie Po (Shing Yin Khor, Kokila)
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club (Malinda Lo, Hodder Paperbacks)
  • Too Bright to See (Kyle Lukoff, Dial Books)
  • Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s promise to the people (Kekla Magoon, Walker Books)
  • Me (Moth) (Amber McBride, Feiwel and Friends).

The awards are administered by the US National Book Foundation. The winners will be announced at an online event on 17 November 2021.


Category: International news