The National Book Awards announce their 2021 nominees

The 10 nonfiction contenders include Hanif Abdurraqib, a writer long listed in 2019, this time for his book “a little devil in america, “as well as two books that examine the legacy of slavery in the United States. Clint Smith visited nine sites associated with slavery for his book.”how the word is passed, while Tia Miles in her book “all that she took,” explores the history of a family through a cotton sack, embroidered with a list of souvenirs passed down from mother to daughter as they were to be sold separately.

In the poetry category, all except one are nominated for the first time, the exception being Forrest Gander for “Twice Alive”. Many of the long-listed collections deal with loss, and two explore what it means to feel like a foreigner in the United States. They are “The Wild Fox of Yemen” by Thray Almontesar, which alternates between stories from Yemen’s family history and America after September 11, and “Ghost Letters”, in which Baba Badji investigates what it means to be a Senegal. , black and in the United States.

Among the long list of young people’s literature, two coming-of-age stories look at issues of gender and sexuality. Malinda Lo’s “Last Night at the Telegraph Club” focuses on a 17-year-old in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare as she falls in love for the first time. Kyle Lukoff’stoo bright to see,” Reader follows a transgender child named Bug during the summer before middle school, described by a reviewer for The New York Times as “a story of realizing the gender you were assigned at birth As described, he is not who you really are. “

Nominees for translated literature include books originally published in Korean, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, French and German. Two of them focus on political violence, including “Peach Blossom Paradise, “Written by Ji Fei and translated from Chinese by Canaan Morse, which follows a young woman during the Hundred Days of Reformation, and”the Twilight ZoneTranslated from Spanish by Nona Fernández and by Natasha Wimar, showing Pinochet’s rule in Chile.

Two others, “When We Stop Understanding the World” by Benjamin Labatut and translated by Adrian Nathan West, and “in memory of memoryby Maria Stepanova and translated by Sasha Dugdale, Were Finalists for this year’s International Booker Prize.

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