National Book Awards, Over 60 Years of Honoring Great American Books 



2011 National Book Award Finalists




Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn

Bellevue Literary Press


T�a Obreht, The Tiger's Wife

(Random House)


Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic

(Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House)


Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision

(Lookout Books, an imprint of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington)


Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones

(Bloomsbury USA)





Deborah Baker, The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism

(Graywolf Press)


Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution

(Little, Brown and Company)


Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

(W. W. Norton & Company)


Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

(Viking Press, an imprint of Penguin Group USA)


Lauren Redniss, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout

(It Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)





Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split 

(TriQuarterly, an imprint of Northwestern University Press)


Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 


Carl Phillips, Double Shadow

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 


Adrienne Rich, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010

(W.W. Norton & Company)


Bruce Smith, Devotions

(University of Chicago Press)



Young People's Literature


Franny Billingsley, Chime

(Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, Inc.)


Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name Is Not Easy

(Marshall Cavendish)


Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again

(Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)


Albert Marrin, Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy

(Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books)


Lauren Myracle, Shine

(Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS)


Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now

(Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


The Judges for the 2011 National Book Awards (bios available here):



Deirdre McNamer (Panel Chair), Jerome Charyn, John Crowley, Victor LaValle, Yiyun Li



Alice Kaplan (Panel Chair), Yunte Huang, Jill Lepore, Barbara Savage 



Elizabeth Alexander (Panel Chair), Thomas Sayers Ellis, Amy Gerstler, Kathleen Graber, Roberto Tejada


Young People's Literature

Marc Aronson (Panel Chair), Ann Brashares, Matt de la Pe�a, Nikki Grimes, Will Weaver 


New York, NY (October 12, 2011) -The twenty Finalists for the 2011 National Book Awards were announced by past National Book Award Winners, Finalists, and Judges in front of a live audience at the new Literary Arts Center in Portland, Oregon as part of Oregon Public Broadcasting's morning radio program, Think Out Loud, and streamed live at


The Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature will be announced at the 62nd National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 16. Actor, writer, and musician John Lithgow will host the event. Winners receive $10,000 and a bronze statue; Finalists receive a bronze medal and $1,000. Poet John Ashbery will receive the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, to be presented by poet Ann Lauterbach. Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of the Miami Book Fair International, will receive the Foundation's Literarian Award for Outstanding Contribution to the American Literary Community, to be presented by writer Walter Mosley.


The invitation-only Awards Ceremony is the culminating event of National Book Awards Week. The celebration begins on November 14 with 5 Under 35, the Foundation's sixth annual invitation-only celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by National Book Award Winners and Finalists. On November 15, for the first time, the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference will be streamed live online, from Scholastic in Soho, hosted by acclaimed young adult author and Scholastic editor David Levithan. Streaming will allow students from across the country to play the role of reporters as they direct questions to the five Finalists for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature. That evening, all twenty Finalists will read from their nominated works at the National Book Award Finalists Reading at The New School. The Finalists Reading is open to the public; tickets are $10 and are available through The New School box office by calling 212-229-5488 or by emailing


For more information about the 2011 Finalists and upcoming National Book Awards Week events, visit