© 2022 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Here are the finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards

Some of the books on the short list for the National Book Award.
Meghan Collins Sullivan

Updated October 4, 2022 at 10:15 AM ET

The finalists for this year's National Book Awards have been announced.

Among the nominees are author Yoko Tawada and translator Margaret Mistutani, who won the 2018 National Book Award for translated literature. Three other nominees — Gayl Jones, Scholastique Mukasonga and Pulitzer-winning poet Sharon Olds – have been finalists before.

In contrast, three of the five finalists for fiction have been nominated for their debut novels: Sarah Tess Gunty, Sarah Thankam Mathews and Alejandro Varela.

And all five of the finalists for young people's literature are being honored by the National Book Awards for the first time, including Tommie Smith, the U.S. athlete who raised a fist in protest against racial discrimination at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.

The winners will be announced on Nov. 16 in New York City. Two lifetime achievement awards will also be presented, to Maus author Art Spiegelman and Tracie D. Hall, the first African American woman to serve as the American Library Association's executive director.

Winners of a National Book Award receive $10,000. The full list of finalists is below.


Tess Gunty, "The Rabbit Hutch"

Gayl Jones, "The Birdcatcher"

Jamil Jan Kochai, "The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories"

Sarah Thankam Mathews, "All This Could Be Different"

Alejandro Varela, "The Town of Babylon"


Meghan O'Rourke, "The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness"

Imani Perry, "South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation"

David Quammen, "Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus"

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, "The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir"

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, "His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice"


Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, "Look at This Blue"

John Keene, "Punks: New & Selected Poems"

Sharon Olds, "Balladz"

Roger Reeves, "Best Barbarian"

Jenny Xie, "The Rupture Tense"

Translated Literature

Jon Fosse, "A New Name: Septology VI-VII." Translated by Damion Searls

Scholastique Mukasonga, "Kibogo." Translated by Mark Polizzotti

Mónica Ojeda, "Jawbone." Translated by Sarah Booker

Samanta Schweblin, "Seven Empty Houses." Translated by Megan McDowell

Yoko Tawada, "Scattered All Over the Earth." Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

Young People's Literature

Kelly Barnhill, "The Ogress and the Orphans"

Sonora Reyes, "The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School"

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile, "Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice"

Sabaa Tahir, "All My Rage"

Lisa Yee, "Maizy Chen's Last Chance"

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

WFAE's weekly arts and entertainment email newsletter, Tapestry, will keep you in the loop on arts and culture in the Charlotte region.

Select Your Email Format

Maureen Pao is an editor, producer and reporter on NPR's Digital News team. In her current role, she is lead digital editor and producer for All Things Considered. Her primary responsibility is coordinating, producing and editing high-impact online components for complex, multipart show projects and host field reporting.