From the New York Times’ Oct. 12, 2011 Arts Beat by Julie Bosman
[Books owned by ASC’s McCain Library or the Decatur Public Library are hyperlinked to the relevant catalog.]
For the second year in a row books about war and foreign locales enchanted the judges of the National Book Awards, whose finalists were announced on Wednesday.
The finalists for fiction are Andrew Krivak, for “The Sojourn” (Bellevue Literary Press), a novel set during World War I; Téa Obreht for “The Tiger’s Wife” (Random House), a best-selling debut novel set in the war-torn Balkans; Julie Otsuka for “The Buddha in the Attic” (Knopf), a fictional retelling of the postwar Japanese-American experience; Edith Pearlman for “Binocular Vision” (Lookout Books), a story collection whose characters confront issues of identity and relocation; and Jesmyn Ward for “Salvage the Bones” (Bloomsbury USA), a story of a Mississippi Gulf family facing Hurricane Katrina.
In nonfiction the finalists are Deborah Baker for “The Convert” (Graywolf Press), the story of an American woman who converted to Islam and lived in exile in Pakistan; Mary Gabriel for “Love and Capital,” (Little, Brown and Company) the account of Karl and Jenny Marx’s home life; Stephen Greenblatt for “The Swerve” (W.W. Norton & Company), about the effect of an ancient Roman poem by Lucretius on the development of modern thought; Manning Marable, a historian and scholar who died in April, for his biography, “Malcolm X” (Viking Press); and Lauren Redniss for “Radioactive” (It Books), a graphic biography that is part love story.
To be eligible for an award a book must have been published between Dec. 1, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2011, and written by a citizen of the United States.
The winners in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature will be announced at a ceremony in Manhattan on Nov. 16, hosted by the actor and author John Lithgow.