Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Thomas Pynchon, George Packer and others are finalists for National Book Award

The contenders for the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature prizes are now narrowed down to five.

By Staff Writer / October 16, 2013

Thomas Pynchon's 'The Bleeding Edge' and 'The Book of Ages' by Jill Lepore are two of the National Book Award finalists.


The contenders for the 2013 National Book Award for fiction are now narrowed down to five, with authors including Thomas Pynchon, Jhumpa Lahiri, and George Saunders making the cut.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

Pynchon was nominated for his novel “Bleeding Edge,” while Lahiri’s “The Lowland” and Saunders’ short story collection “Tenth of December” were selected. Writer Rachel Kushner made the list for her novel “The Flamethrowers” and James McBride received a nod for his book “The Good Lord Bird.”

Meanwhile, authors including George Packer and Jill LePore made the nonfiction nominees list. LePore received the nod for her work “Book of Ages,” while Packer’s book “The Unwinding” also made the list as well as Wendy Lower’s “Hitler’s Furies,” Lawrence Wright’s “Going Clear,” and Alan Taylor’s “The Internal Enemy.”

For the young people’s literature prize, authors Meg Rosoff of “Picture Me Gone,” Cynthia Kadohata of “The Thing About Luck,” Tom McNeal of “Far Far Away,” Gene Luen Yang of “Boxers & Saints,” and Kathi Appelt of “The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp” will be competing for the award.

The poetry contenders are “Stay, Illusion” by Lucie Brock-Broido, “Black Aperture” by Matt Rasmussen, “Metaphysical Dog” by Frank Bidart, “The Big Smoke” by Adrian Matejka, and “Incarnadine” by Mary Szybist. As pointed out by Publishers Weekly, all but Bidart are first-time NBA nominees. 

Last year, author Louise Erdrich took the fiction prize for “The Round House,” while “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo won the nonfiction award.

Excerpts of the nominees are available via free e-books for the first time on the National Book Award website. The winners for each category will be announced next month.


  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


What are you reading?

Let me know about a good book you've read recently, or about the book that's currently on your bedside table. Why did you pick it up? Are you enjoying it?

Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!