National Book Award finalists announced: Where's Franzen? |

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National Book Award finalists announced: Where's Franzen?

The day after the Man Booker Prize was handed out, the nominations for the National Book Award have been announced. The fiction shortlist comprises Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America, Nicole Krauss’ Great House, Lionel Shriver’s So Much for That, Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule, and Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel. The Australian-born Carey has previously won the Man Booker and his latest novel was also a finalist for that prize, but it also qualifies for the National Book Award because the author also has U.S. citizenship. However, the most notable aspect of this list is an absence: Jonathan Franzen’s best-selling, critically acclaimed Freedom is nowhere to be seen. This is especially notable since his previous novel, The Corrections, won the award nine years ago.

Patti Smith’s searing memoir Just Kids made it among the finalists for nonfiction, keeping company with previous National Book Award winner John W. Dower’s Cultures of War, among others. Here is the full list of finalists:

Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America
Nicole Krauss, Great House
Lionel Shriver, So Much for That
Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule
Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel

Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy
Megan K. Stack, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar
Patti Smith, Just Kids
John W. Dower, Culures of War
Justin Spring, Secret Historian

Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City
Terrance Hayes, Lighthead
James Richardson, By the Numbers
C.D. Wright, One with Others
Monica Youn, Ignatz

Young People’s Literature
Paolo Bacigalupi, Ship Breaker
Kathryn Erskine, Mockingbird
Laura McNeal, Dark Water
Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown
Rita Williams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer