by Rebecca Valley
In anticipation of the short-list announcement tomorrow, the staff here at Drizzle have compiled a list of our favorite and most-anticipated National Book Award nominees, announced by the National Book Foundation in mid-September.
You can check out the full list here. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on November 15th — which gives you plenty of time to start reading!
Carmen Maria Machado’s debut, HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES, is a sometimes unnerving, certainly original collection of short stories that traverses the boundaries between science fiction, fantasy, fabulism, comedy, and horror, all while exploring the violence that is enacted upon women’s bodies.
Award-winning poet Danez Smith returns with a second collection, DON’T CALL US DEAD, which lingers on historical and contemporary assaults on black, male bodies.
Already a winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, Mai Der Vang’s collection AFTERLAND explores in vivid, excruciating detail the story of her own family, through a historical account of the Hmong exodus from Laos.
A hybrid book of poem and narrative, Layli Long Soldier’s collection WHEREAS explores the dualism of being a citizen of the United States and of the Oglala Lakota Nation, and explores the troubled language that both connects and separates the U.S. and Native peoples.
David Grann’s KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI is dark, disturbing, and will keep you on the edge of your seat as it recounts a series of serial murders on Osage Indian land in Oklahoma.
Another debut novel, AMERICAN STREET, explores Haitian immigration through Ibi Zoboi’s own lens. The result is an often lyrical, sometimes gritty walk through adolescence that draws from magical realism and vodou to tell the story of a girl at a crossroads between countries and cultures.
Erika L. Sanchez has two books out this year — her young adult novel, I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER, explores the troubled relationship between a daughter and her family after her eldest sister dies in a tragic accident.