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Who will win at the National Book Awards?

As tonight's announcement approaches, buzz is building over such nominees as Lawrence Wright's 'Going Clear' and Thomas Pynchon's 'Bleeding Edge.'

By Husna Haq / November 20, 2013

'Bleeding Edge' and 'Going Clear' are two of the nominees for the National Book Awards, 'Bleeding' for the fiction prize and 'Clear' for the nonfiction category.

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Hours ahead of the big event, buzz is building over this year’s National Book Awards, the “Oscars of the publishing industry.” Headline grabbers this year include Malala Yousafzai, novelist Thomas Pnychon, fictional character Bridget Jones, and the Church of Scientology.

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The awards, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the US, will be announced in four categories Wednesday night at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Notably absent from the event will be one of the top contenders for the fiction award, Thomas Pynchon. Notoriously private and disinclined to attend public events and participate in media appearances, Pynchon, not surprisingly, will not attend the black tie awards, Ann Godoff, president and editor in chief of Penguin Press, Pynchon’s publisher, said Monday, according to The New York Times.

Also unlikely to tune in to the ceremony is the Church of Scientology, which is upset over the nomination of a book by Lawrence Wright entitled “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.”

The book has received glowing praise and great reviews for its “devastating critique” of the Church of Scientology. And despite author Wright’s credentials (he’s a New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize winner), exhaustive research, and allegedly honest intent (“That crunching sound you hear is Lawrence Wright bending over backward to be fair to Scientology,” The New York Times wrote in a piece on the book), the Church, not surprisingly, wasn’t happy about the book or its nomination as a National Book Award finalist.

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