2020 National Book Awards Winners And Finalists

Tina Lerno, Librarian, Digital Content Team,
National Book Awards
2020 National Book Awards Winners

The National Book Foundation has announced the 71st Annual National Book Awards and shortlists for 2020. The awards, which were first awarded in 1935, are given out in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. This year we were honored to participate in the National Book Awards by hosting Lisa Lucas in the Children’s Literature Department at Central Library during the awards ceremony.

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. All of us at the Los Angeles Public Library couldn't agree more!

Fiction Short List

Interior Chinatown
Yu, Charles

Winner: 2020 National Book Award for Fiction

Leave the World Behind
Alam, Rumaan

A Children's Bible
Millet, Lydia

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
Philyaw, Deesha

Shuggie Bain
Stuart, Douglas

Non-Fiction Short List

The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X
Payne, Les

Winner: 2020 National Book Award for Non-Fiction

Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory
Saunt, Claudio

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers
Shapland, Jenn

The Undocumented Americans
Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla

How to Make a Slave and Other Essays
Walker, Jerald

Poetry Short List

DMZ Colony
Choi, Don Mee

Winner: 2020 National Book Award for Poetry

A Treatise on Stars
Berssenbrugge, Mei-mei

Fantasia for the Man in Blue

Borderland Apocrypha
Cody, Anthony

Currently unavailable.

Postcolonial: Love Poem
Diaz, Natalie

Translated Literature Short List

Tokyo Ueno Station
Yū, Miri

Winner: 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature

High as the Waters Rise
Kampmann, Anja

The Family Clause
Khemiri, Jonas Hassen

The Bitch
Quintana, Pilar

Minor Detail
Shiblī, ʻAdanīyah

Young People's Literature Short List

King and the Dragonflies
Callender, Kacen

Winner: 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

We Are Not Free
Chee, Traci

Every Body Looking
Iloh, Candice

When Stars are Scattered
Jamieson, Victoria

The Way Back
Savit, Gavriel