The Twenty National Book Award Finalists Revealed
New York, NY (October 10, 2012) – The twenty Finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards were announced this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” hosted by Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Geist. David Steinberger, Chairman of the National Book Foundation’s Board of Directors and President and CEO of Perseus Books Group, appeared as a guest on the show. This was the first time that the National Book Award Finalists were announced on television.
The twenty Finalists include five debut works, two memoirs, and a short-story collection. Among the Finalists are five Pulitzer Prize winners, two recipients of MacArthur ”Genius” grants, one previous National Book Award Winner, three previous National Book Award Finalists, and a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award, one of the Foundation’s two lifetime achievement awards. In addition, six of the twenty books were published by small, independent, or university presses.
This year’s Fiction list includes Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur “Genius” grant recipient Junot Díaz, who also served as a National Book Award Fiction Judge in 2009; two-time National Book Award Finalist, for Fiction in 1999 and for Young People’s Literature in 2001, Louise Erdrich; recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 2009 Literarian Award, Dave Eggers; Texas-based author of a previous short-story collection, Ben Fountain; and debut novelist Kevin Powers.
The Nonfiction list includes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo; National Book Award Finalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum; National Book Award Winner (2003) and two-time Finalist (1975 and 1983) Robert Caro; debut memoirist Domingo Martinez; and foreign correspondent for The New York Times Anthony Shadid, who died in February.
All of this year’s Poetry Finalists are first-time nominees who have published previous volumes of poetry. Tim Seibles is the author of five poetry collections and teaches workshops for Cave Canem. David Ferry is the author of eight collections of poetry and translation and the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley College. Cynthia Huntington teaches creative writing at Dartmouth College and was named Poet Laureate of New Hampshire in 2004. Alan Shapiro is the author of ten collections of poetry and a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Susan Wheeler is a recipient of a Guggenheim and currently directs the creative writing program at Princeton University.