NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).-
Two acclaimed debut novels and a story collection whose author died last month are among the 10 fiction contenders for this years National Book Award.
The debut novels, which the National Book Foundation announced along with the rest of its fiction longlist Friday, are A Burning, by Megha Majumdar, and Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart, who had a particularly big week his book was also named to the shortlist for the Booker Prize Tuesday.
If I Had Two Wings, by Randall Kenan, who died at 57 in August, is one of two short story collections on the list, along with The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, by Deesha Philyaw. Rumaan Alams third novel, Leave the World Behind, also made the longlist, as did Brit Bennetts The Vanishing Half.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste) and Jill Lepore (If Then) are two familiar names on the longlist for nonfiction. Claudio Saunts Unworthy Republic, about the dispossession of Native Americans, Frank B. Wilderson IIIs Afropessimism and Karla Cornejo Villavicencios The Undocumented Americans were among the nonfiction titles that also made the list.
All 10 of the writers longlisted for poetry are first-time nominees, and two of them are debut authors: Tommye Blount, whose Fantasia for the Man in Blue breaks up its title poem about police violence against Black people into a quartet threaded throughout the book, and Anthony Cody, whose Borderland Apocrypha uses elements of documentary to write about experiences at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Perumal Murugans The Story of a Goat is one of the nominees in the translated literature category. The novel, translated from the Tamil by N. Kalyan Raman, is Murugans first since he renounced writing in 2015 after being pilloried by right-wing Hindu groups. Not among the contenders is the Dutch novelist Marieke Lucas Rijnevelds The Discomfort of Evening, translated by Michele Hutchison and named the winner of this years International Booker Prize in August.
The contenders for young peoples literature include Candice Ilohs Every Body Looking, Traci Chees We Are Not Free, and When Stars Are Scattered.
The shortlists of finalists in each category are scheduled to be announced on Oct. 6. The winners, normally announced at an event in New York City, will be unveiled this unusual year during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 18.
© 2020 The New York Times Company