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2014 National Book Awards

Source: Robin Marchant / Getty

The 2017 National Book Award shortlists are here, and it looks like we were spot on with some of our predictions. This year’s finalists include Jesmyn Ward—who we included on our list of reads to keep you calm during 45’s presidency—among many notable others.

Of the 20 finalists announced, 15 of them are women.

Check out who made the cut in poetry, young people’s literature, fiction and nonfiction below. Winners will be announced on November 15 in New York City.


Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison (University of Akron Press)

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier (Graywolf)

In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae (Wesleyan University Press)

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith (Graywolf)

Young People’s Literature:

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold (Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab)

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway (HarperTeen)

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez (Knopf)

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperCollins/Amistad)

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)


Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Atria/37 INK)

The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald (Simon & Schuster)

The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen (Riverhead)

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday)

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean (Viking)


Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)

The Leavers by Lisa Ko (Algonquin)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central)

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)