NEW YORK – Historical novels by Jayne Anne Phillips and Paul Harding and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s dystopian prison novel “Chain-Gang All-Stars” are among the nominees on the National Book Awards long list for fiction.
Phillips, a former National Book Award finalist, was cited for “Night Watch,” and Harding, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was nominated for “The Other Eden.”
The 10 fiction titles announced Friday by the National Book Foundation also include Mona Susan Power's multigenerational “A Council of Dolls,” Eliot Duncan’s coming-of-age novel “Ponyboy,” and two other historical works: Hanna Pylväinen’s “The End of Drum-Time” and Tania James’s “Loot.”
The other nominees are Justin Torres' “Blackout,” his first novel since his acclaimed debut “We the Animals” was published more than a decade ago, and a pair of story collections: Aaliyah Bilal's “Temple Folk” and LaToya Watkins' “Holler, Child.”
Some of the year's most highly praised and anticipated fiction releases were left off the list, including former National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward's upcoming “Let Us Descend,” former National Book Award winner James McBride's “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store,” former National Book Award finalist Lauren Groff's “The Vaster Wilds” and former National Book Award finalist Jamel Brinkley's “Witness.”
Earlier this week, the National Book Foundation announced long lists for nonfiction, poetry,young people's literature and works in translation. The judges, who include authors, critics and booksellers, will narrow the lists to five next month, and winners will be announced Nov. 15 during a dinner ceremony in downtown Manhattan. The foundation also will present honorary awards to poet Rita Dove and bookseller Paul Yamazaki of the famed City Lights store in San Francisco.
Drew Barrymore had been scheduled to host the ceremony but was dropped by the foundation after she resumed her talk show in the midst of the Hollywood actors and writers strike. The foundation has not yet named a replacement.