The 2019 National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction

Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Nonfiction Book Nominations

Photo by National Book Awards

This week, The New Yorker will be announcing the longlists for the 2019 National Book Awards. This morning, we present the ten contenders in the category of Nonfiction. Earlier this week, we shared the lists in the categories of Young People’s Literature, Translated Literature, and Poetry. Check back tomorrow morning for Fiction.

Of the ten authors longlisted for this year’s National Book Award for Nonfiction, only Greg Grandin has previously been a nominee, for his 2009 book, “Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Jungle City.” This year, Grandin was selected for “The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America,” which Francisco Cantú praised for its efforts “to situate today’s calls to fortify our borders in relation to the centuries of racial animus that preceded them.”

History—and how it inflects the present—is the presiding theme of this year’s longlist. “The Yellow House,” Sarah M. Broom’s memoir, traces the arc of a family, New Orleans, and the ties that bind them; David Treuer’s “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present,” presents a counter-narrative of Native American life; and Patrick Radden Keefe’s “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland” resolves a decades-old mystery. Several of the contenders are memoirs, and one—Tressie McMillan Cottom’s “Thick”—is a collection of essays.

The full list is below.

Hanif Abdurraqib, “Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest
University of Texas Press

Sarah M. Broom, “The Yellow House
Grove Press / Grove Atlantic

Tressie McMillan Cottom, “Thick: And Other Essays
The New Press

Carolyn Forché, “What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance
Penguin Press / Penguin Random House

Patrick Radden Keefe, “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
Doubleday / Penguin Random House

David Treuer, “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Greg Grandin, “The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America
Metropolitan Books / Macmillan Publishers

Iliana Regan, “Burn the Place: A Memoir
Agate Midway / Agate Publishing, Inc.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
The University of North Carolina Press

Albert Woodfox with Leslie George, “Solitary
Grove Press / Grove Atlantic

The judges for the category this year are Erica Armstrong Dunbar, a professor of history at Rutgers University and a finalist for a 2017 National Book Award; Carolyn Kellogg, an award-winning culture writer and former books editor of the Los Angeles Times; Mark Laframboise, who has worked for more than twenty years at the Politics and Prose bookstore, in Washington, D.C.; Kiese Laymon, the author, most recently, of “Heavy: An American Memoir,” and a professor of English at the University of Mississippi; and Jeff Sharlet, an editor-at-large for Virginia Quarterly Review, a winner of a National Magazine Award, and an associate professor at Dartmouth College.


[via The New Yorker]

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