The National Book Award shortlists were announced Thursday morning via Facebook Live on The New Yorker magazine’s Facebook page. The slate includes some obvious choices — like Colson Whitehead’s highly-praised, Oprah-approved The Underground Railroad in the fiction category — and all-around literary stars, like Viet Thanh Nguyen’s nonfiction offering, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, which follows last year’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Sympathizer.

The final shortlists are below. Winners will be announced on November 16, 2016.


  • Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special
  • Paulette Jiles, News of the World
  • Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs
  • Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
  • Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn


  • Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
  • Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War
  • Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
  • Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy



  • Daniel Borzutzky, The Performance of Becoming Human
  • Rita Dove, Collected Poems 1974 – 2004
  • Peter Gizzi, Archeophonics
  • Jay Hopler, The Abridged History of Rainfall
  • Solmaz Sharif, Look