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The National Book Foundation has announced the longlists for the National Book Awards 2021 from September 15th to 17th. As in the previous year, the prizes are divided into five categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translated literature and literature for young people.

The jury for this year’s edition of the National Book Awards consists of Alan Michael Parker, Emily Pullen, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Luis Alberto Urrea and Charles Yu for fiction; Eula Biss, Aaron John Curtis, Nell Painter, Kate Tuttle, and Jerald Walker for non-fiction; Don Mee Choi, Natalie Diaz, Matthea Harvey, A. Van Jordan and Ilya Kaminsky for poetry; Jessie Chaffee, Sergio de la Pava, Madhu H. Kaza, Achy Obejas, and Stephen Snyder for translated literature; and Pablo Cartaya, Traci Chee, Leslie Connor, Cathryn Mercier and Ibi Zoboi for youth literature.

The longlists for 2021 are as follows:


This year’s fiction longlist consists of “authors of all career levels”. The longlist works are:

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For non-fiction books, the longlist shows “emerging and established writers and represents an exceptionally wide range of topics and genres, from American culture and politics, environmental protection, history, current social issues to works of the memoirs and beyond,” according to the National Book Foundation . Here are her books:


In the poetry category, nine of the 10 poets are nominated for the first time, with the exception of Forrest Gander, whose Be With collection was included in the aforementioned category in 2018. The longlist titles are:

Translated literature

The 10 books in this category were originally published in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Here are the nominated titles:

  • Waiting for the Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé, translated from the French by Richard Philcox
  • Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin, translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
  • Peach blossom paradise by Ge Fei, translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse
  • The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
  • About the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim, translated from Korean by Joungmin Lee Comfort and Sora Kim-Russell
  • When we stop understanding the world by Benjamin Labatut, translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
  • Rabbit Island: Stories by Elvira Navarro, translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
  • An inventory of the losses by Judith Schalansky, translated from German by Jackie Smith
  • In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale
  • Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek, translated from Arabic by Leri Price

Youth literature

This category includes “titles across genres, subjects, and styles featuring authors from the United States,” according to the press release. The contenders are:

25 finalists will be announced on October 5th, and winners in each category will be announced at a personal awards ceremony in New York City on November 17th. The winners will each receive $ 10,000, while each finalist will take home $ 1,000.

The event will also contain “virtual elements” which include a full broadcast.

The National Book Awards, first presented in 1950, recognize outstanding literary works by American writers. They were awarded to authors such as William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, John Irving, Alice Walker, Jesmyn Ward, and Colson Whitehead.

Search the Book Riot archives for more literary award news, including the Booker Prize.