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.

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.

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Thomas Pynchon, George Packer and others are finalists for National Book Award
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today