Thursday, October 30, 2008

National Book Award Finalists

This year, 271 works of fiction were submitted to the National Book Foundation to be considered for the National Book Award. The five finalists for this award were announced October 15. Look for the winner to be announced November 19 at the NBA annual ceremony and dinner.

Here are the finalists for fiction for 2008:

The Lazarus Prject by Aleksandar Hemon
A first full-length work by the MacArthur Award-winning author of the story collections The Question of Bruno and Nowhere Man finds the murder of Jewish immigrant Lazarus Averbuch triggering ethnic and political tensions in early twentieth-century Chicago, an event that is investigated a century later by a young writer from Eastern Europe.
Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner
Coming of age in mid-1950s Cuba where the local sugar and nickel production are controlled by American interests, Everly Lederer and KC Stites observe the indulgences and betrayals of the adult world and are swept up by the political underground and the revolt led by Fidel and Raul Castro.
Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
A richly textured reworking of the author's classic trilogy--Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man's River, and Bone by Bone--chronicles the legacy of E. J. Watson, a notorious desperado gunned down by his neighbors along the lawless nineteenth-century frontier of the Florida Everglades.
Home by Marilynne Robinson
Returning to Gilead to care for her dying father, Glory Boughton, the daughter of John Ames's closest friend, is joined by her long-absent brother, with whom she bonds throughout his struggles with alcoholism, unemployment, and their father's traditionalist values. Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for her previous novel, Gilead.
The End by Salvatore Scibona
Six attendees at an Ohio carnival in 1953 find their lives irrevocably changed by a devastating crime, in a tale that centers on a man whose years of unrelenting labor, paternal devotion, and steadfast faith are shattered by the news that his son has died in a Korean POW camp. A first novel.

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