Get Ready to Dive into 2023’s Best Reads: The National Book Award Finalists Revealed

Today, the National Book Foundation announced the people who could win prizes for writing good books in 2023. They have different kinds of books, like made-up stories, true stories, poems, books from other languages, and books for young people.

Out of all these books, they will pick five that are the best, and they will tell us who wins on November 15th at a big event. Special guests like Oprah Winfrey will be there, too.

Each person who wrote these books will get $1,000 and a special medal. But the winners will get $10,000, a medal, and a statue. If a book was originally written in another language and then translated into English, the prize money will be shared between the writer and the person who translated it.

Here are the books that could win:

For made-up stories (Fiction):

  1. “Chain-Gang All-Stars” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
  2. “Temple Folk” by Aaliyah Bilal
  3. “This Other Eden” by Paul Harding
  4. “The End of Drum-Time” by Hanna Pylväinen
  5. “Blackouts” by Justin Torres

For true stories (Nonfiction):

  1. “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History” by Ned Blackhawk
  2. “Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice” by Cristina Rivera Garza
  3. “Ordinary Notes” by Christina Sharpe
  4. “We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir” by Raja Shehadeh
  5. “Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World” by John Vaillant

For poems (Poetry):

  1. “How to Communicate” by John Lee Clark
  2. “from unincorporated territory [åmot]” by Craig Santos Perez
  3. “suddenly we” by Evie Shockley
  4. “Tripas” by Brandon Som
  5. “From From” by Monica Youn

For books from other languages (Translated Literature):

  1. “Cursed Bunny” by Bora Chung, translated from Korean by Anton Hur
  2. “Beyond the Door of No Return” by David Diop, translated from French by Sam Taylor
  3. “The Words That Remain” by Stênio Gardel, translated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato
  4. “Abyss” by Pilar Quintana, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman
  5. “On a Woman’s Madness” by Astrid Roemer, translated from Dutch by Lucy Scott

For books for young people (Young People’s Literature):

  1. “Gather” by Kenneth M. Cadow
  2. “Huda F Cares?” by Huda Fahmy
  3. “Big” by Vashti Harrison
  4. “The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine” by Katherine Marsh
  5. “A First Time for Everything” by Dan Santat

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