Books Honored by the National Book Awards

National Book Award Medals

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. National Book Awards are given five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.

The first African-American writer to win a National Book Award was Ralph Ellison for Invisible Man.

Check Out AALBC’s Coverage of the National Book Awards:  20172016201520142013


3 Books Honored by the National Book Awards in 2014

Winner - Young People’s Literature

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780399252518
Imprint: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Book Description: 

“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story… but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.




Finalist - Poetry

The Feel Trio
by Fred Moten

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $20.00
    Format: Paperback, 104 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9780988713710
    Imprint: Letter Machine Editions
    Publisher: Letter Machine Editions
    Parent Company: Letter Machine Editions
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    Book Description: 
    Poetry. African American Studies. Music. California Interest. THE FEEL TRIO is Cecil Taylor, Tony Oxley and William Parker. Or is it that THE FEEL TRIO are Cecil Taylor, Tony Oxley and William Parker? See, that’s the amazing problem and chance, right there! In the wake and air and light of THE FEEL TRIO, what it bears and what propels them, which is everything in particular, THE FEEL TRIO tries to put some things together. Alabama runs through those things like nobody’s business. I kept trying to visit the uncounted space James Brown forms around the one. To celebrate the varieties of black devotion. But coalition can’t be too easy; it’s in our nature not to come naturally lyrically, beautifully violently. The organizing principles, in our extramusical tailor’s retrofit of fitting, sharp as a tack from the tone worlds of east by southeast of Sheffield, the Bronx’s compassionate project/s and fly, flaired, flared Corona: listen to everything, relax the shape, approach with love, be worthy of a lovely t!

    ***National Book Award Finalist, 2014

    Finalist - Poetry

    Citizen: An American Lyric
    by Claudia Rankine

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $20.00
    Format: Paperback, 160 pages
    Classification: Poetry
    ISBN13: 9781555976903
    Imprint: Graywolf Press
    Publisher: Graywolf Press
    Parent Company: Graywolf Press
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    Read a Description of Citizen: An American Lyric


    Book Description: 
    * Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *
    * Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
    The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, NPR. Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Slate, Time Out New York, Vulture, Refinery 29, and many more . . .

    A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine’s long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

    Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.


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