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Here are the finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards

Meghan Collins Sullivan

Updated October 4, 2022 at 10:15 AM ET

The finalists for this year's National Book Awards have been announced.

Among the nominees are author Yoko Tawada and translator Margaret Mistutani, who won the 2018 National Book Award for translated literature. Three other nominees — Gayl Jones, Scholastique Mukasonga and Pulitzer-winning poet Sharon Olds – have been finalists before.

In contrast, three of the five finalists for fiction have been nominated for their debut novels: Sarah Tess Gunty, Sarah Thankam Mathews and Alejandro Varela.

And all five of the finalists for young people's literature are being honored by the National Book Awards for the first time, including Tommie Smith, the U.S. athlete who raised a fist in protest against racial discrimination at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.

The winners will be announced on Nov. 16 in New York City. Two lifetime achievement awards will also be presented, to Maus author Art Spiegelman and Tracie D. Hall, the first African American woman to serve as the American Library Association's executive director.

Winners of a National Book Award receive $10,000. The full list of finalists is below.


Tess Gunty, The Rabbit Hutch

Gayl Jones, The Birdcatcher

Jamil Jan Kochai, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories

Sarah Thankam Mathews, All This Could Be Different

Alejandro Varela, The Town of Babylon


Meghan O'Rourke, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness

Imani Perry, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation

David Quammen, Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice


Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Look at This Blue

John Keene, Punks: New & Selected Poems

Sharon Olds, Balladz

Roger Reeves, Best Barbarian

Jenny Xie, The Rupture Tense

Translated Literature

Jon Fosse, A New Name: Septology VI-VII. Translated by Damion Searls

Scholastique Mukasonga, Kibogo. Translated by Mark Polizzotti

Mónica Ojeda, Jawbone. Translated by Sarah Booker

Samanta Schweblin, Seven Empty Houses. Translated by Megan McDowell

Yoko Tawada, Scattered All Over the Earth. Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

Young People's Literature

Kelly Barnhill, The Ogress and the Orphans

Sonora Reyes, The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice

Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage

Lisa Yee, Maizy Chen's Last Chance

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Maureen Pao is an editor, producer and reporter on NPR's Digital News team. In her current role, she is lead digital editor and producer for All Things Considered. Her primary responsibility is coordinating, producing and editing high-impact online components for complex, multipart show projects and host field reporting.