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National Book Award finalists announced: Where's Franzen?

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The day after the Man Booker Prize was handed out, the nominations for the National Book Award have been announced. The fiction shortlist comprises Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America, Nicole Krauss’ Great House, Lionel Shriver’s So Much for That, Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule, and Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel. The Australian-born Carey has previously won the Man Booker and his latest novel was also a finalist for that prize, but it also qualifies for the National Book Award because the author also has U.S. citizenship. However, the most notable aspect of this list is an absence: Jonathan Franzen’s best-selling, critically acclaimed Freedom is nowhere to be seen. This is especially notable since his previous novel, The Corrections, won the award nine years ago.

Patti Smith’s searing memoir Just Kids made it among the finalists for nonfiction, keeping company with previous National Book Award winner John W. Dower’s Cultures of War, among others. Here is the full list of finalists:

Fiction

Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America

Nicole Krauss, Great House

Lionel Shriver, So Much for That

Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule

Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel

Nonfiction

Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy

Megan K. Stack, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar

Patti Smith, Just Kids

John W. Dower, Culures of War

Justin Spring, Secret Historian

Poetry

Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City

Terrance Hayes, Lighthead

James Richardson, By the Numbers

C.D. Wright, One with Others

Monica Youn, Ignatz

Young People’s Literature

Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker

Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird

Laura McNeal, Dark Water

Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown

Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer

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