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The 2013 National Book Awards Finalists to be Announced


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For immediate release: October 7, 2013, 9:00 a.m.


Contact Info:

Harold Augenbraum, National Book Foundation





National Book Foundation partners with msnbc’s “Morning Joe” to Announce

the 2013 Finalists for the National Book Awards


Morning Joe Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski also to Emcee

the National Book Awards Ceremony This Year


New York, NY (October 7, 9:00 a.m.) On Wednesday, October 16, the National Book Foundation will partner with msnbc’s “Morning Joe” to announce its 2013 National Book Awards Finalists, for the second year in a row. In addition, this year “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who are both authors themselves, will emcee the National Book Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, November 20 at Cipriani Wall Street, in New York.


The Finalist categories will consist of five books each from the genres of Young People's Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction selected by a panel of expert judges, culled from the Longlists of ten each that were revealed to the public over four consecutive days during the week of September 16. Appearing on the show to reveal the Finalist books will be the Foundation’s Chairman, David Steinberger, President and CEO of the Perseus Books Group.


“Last year’s Finalist announcement on ‘Morning Joe’ was a great success,” noted Steinberger. “We more than doubled the Foundation’s website visits from the previous year. Making the announcement on television gave us a whole new audience for these great books, and expanding the literary audience is our main goal.”


Over the past two years the Foundation has increased its efforts to broaden its reach by recruiting board members from outside the literary world and forging partnerships with organizations and individuals with related missions. The creation of the Awards first Longlists this year and the expansion of the judging panels to non-writers (albeit with literary expertise) are part of this effort.


“Both Joe and I are published authors,” said Brzezinski, “and our program focuses to a great extent on bringing the knowledge and expertise of authors to a wider public. We believe strongly in the written word.” “Morning Joe” recently announced the formation of a branded Book Club, focused on nonfiction. Scarborough’s new book, The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics--and Can Again, will be published on November 12. Brzezinski’s most recent book is Obsessed: America’s Food Addition—and My Own.



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The National Book Foundation's mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. In addition to the National Book Awards, for which it is best known, the Foundation's programs include 5 Under 35, a celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by former National Book Award Finalists and Winners; the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, an opportunity for New York City students to interview the current National Book Award Finalists in Young People's Literature; NBA on Campus, a partnership that brings current National Book Award authors to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN; the Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading; and BookUp, a writer-led, after-school reading club for middle- and high-school students, run in New York City and Texas.


The National Book Award is one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years.  Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.

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Here is a sampling of the titles from the "long list".  I'm sure at least 3 of these will ultimately become finalists:




2013 National Book Award Longlist for Fiction
The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead Books/Penguin Group) by James McBride 

2013 National Book Award Longlist for Nonfiction
Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 by James Oakes (W.W. Norton & Company)   
The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor (W.W. Norton & Company)
Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout (Gotham Books/Penguin Group)

2013 National Book Award Longlist for Poetry
Bury My Clothes by Roger Bonair-Agard (Haymarket Books)
The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka (Penguin Poets/Penguin Group)


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The finalists for the National Book Awards have been announced as predicted last week, at least three of the six books above were selected as finalists. 


The winners will be listed on November 20th.  See the Complete list of finalists.


2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction
The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead Books/Penguin Group) by James McBride


2013 National Book Award Longlist for Nonfiction
The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor (W.W. Norton & Company)


2013 National Book Award Longlist for Poetry
The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka (Penguin Poets/Penguin Group)



f_mcbride_good.jpg     nf_taylor_internal.jpg     p_matejka_bigsmoke.jpg



I predict one of these books will win.

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  • 5 weeks later...

There is Alan Taylor reads from his book, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.  He is one of my handicapped favorites to win a National Book Award.



I will post more of my favorite readings here over the next few days.


Our Brother James McBride has some stiff competition in the Fiction category.  I'm liking Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers.  I'll post a video of her reading from that book, as well as video from other readings I enjoyed.

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