2012 National Book Awards Finalists Announced

The twenty finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards were announced this morning by David Steinberger, Chairman of the National Book Foundation’s Board of Directors, on (somewhat randomly) MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The finalists are a satisfying mix of established writers (five Pulitzer Prize winners, two recipients of MacArthur “Genius” grants) and fresh talent (five of the books are debut works) across four genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and YA. While we expected National Book Award darling Junot Díaz to get a nod, we were pleasantly surprised to see Dave Eggers’ newest book, which has been sort of a sleeper, on the list, and definitely psyched to see Louise Erdrich’s The Round House among the finalists. The winners will be announced on November 14. Click through to read the full list of finalists, and let us know your predictions in the comments.


Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her 
Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King
Louise Erdrich, The Round House
Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds


Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4
Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas 
Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East 


David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations
Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies
Tim Seibles, Fast Animal
Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic
Susan Wheeler, Meme 


William Alexander, Goblin Secrets
Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach
Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down
Eliot Schrefer, Endangered
Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build―and Steal―the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon