National Book Award Finalists



National Book Awards winner nonfiction category, Evan Osnos for "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)  (Photo from
National Book Awards winner nonfiction category, Evan Osnos for “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
(Photo from
Zachary Shaw
Copy Editor


New York City will be the site for another spotlight on Nov. 19, however, in the limelight will not be singers or actors, but books. The National Book Award Winners will be announced that fall evening.

The categories of for best in: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature will be awarded.

“Books beg to be talked and thought about, and if people start a dialogue about the motivations of a particular character or why a story is set here rather than there, they are engaging their minds in a very profound way,” Student Success Specialist, Ashley Luster said.

Popular picks of this years finalists include “Lila”, by Marilynne Robinson, and “All the Light We Cannot See”, by Anthony Doerr. Both fiction titles are in the top 10 of The New York Times Best Seller List, as of Oct. 21.

“I haven’t read any of this year’s nominees, but I’m interested in a few of them…  Reading is important because not only is it a vital part of life, but it gives the mind a break and allows the reader to put their self into a different world… Everyone needs the escape that books offer,” Psychology major, and avid reader, Shannon Katich, said.

Each category contains five nominees, and five runner-ups. Last years winners included: “The Good Lord Bird” (Fiction), by James McBride, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America” (Non-Fiction), by George Packer, “Incarnadine” (Poetry), by Mary Szybist, and “The Thing About Luck” (Young People’s Literature), by Cynthia Kadohata.

“I do think that the National Book Award deserves people’s attentions. These are authors who may not necessarily be popular or even known by many readers, myself included, and the Book Award gives these authors a chance to have their names and works recognized by more people,” Luster said.

In addition to the category winners, two lifetime achievement award recipients are honored on the same night by the National Book Foundation (NBF). The two different achievements are, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (MDCAL), and the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community (LAOSALC).

Ursula K. Le Guin is the 2014 winner of the MDCAL award, and also will receive $10,000. In it’s 10th year of existence, this year’s LAOSALC winner is Kyle Zimmer, who has displayed “a lifetime of achievement in expanding the audience for literature,” which is the definition for the award recipient by the NBF.

To find more information about this year’s and previous National Book Award Finalists, and Lifetime Achievement Winners visit,


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