The Twenty National Book Award Finalists Revealed
Four of this year’s Young People's Literature Finalists are first-time nominees. Both Minneapolis-based William Alexander and Los Angeles-based Carrie Arcos have been nominated for their debut novels. Patricia McCormick was a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature once previously, for Sold in 2006. Eliot Schrefer is the author of four previous novels. Steve Sheinkin has been nominated for his second book, the only nonfiction Finalist in this category.
“We are particularly pleased that the Finalists include some of the most well-known literary names in America and new names and faces to the National Book Awards,” said Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, which administers the Awards.
The Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature will be announced at the 63rd National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 14. Television and radio host, political and pop culture commentator, journalist, and actor Faith Salie will host the event, which will be streamed live on the Foundation’s website, www.nationalbook.org. Winners receive $10,000 and a bronze statue; Finalists receive a bronze medal and $1,000. The evening is chaired by Morgan Entrekin, Lynn Nesbit, and Shelley Wanger. Novelist Elmore Leonard will receive the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, to be presented by author Martin Amis. The Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Contribution to the American Literary Community will go to New York Times chairman and publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., to be presented by the host of NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Terry Gross.
Publishers submitted a total of 1,285 books for the 2012 National Book Awards, including 311 in Fiction, 479 in Nonfiction, 181 in Poetry, and 314 in Young People’s Literature. The Finalists were selected by four distinguished panels of Judges who were given the charge of selecting what they deem to be the best books of the year. Their decisions are made independent of the National Book Foundation staff and Board of Directors; deliberations are strictly confidential. To be eligible for a 2012 National Book Award, a book must have been published in the United States between December 1, 2011 and November 30, 2012, and must have been written by a United States citizen.