Ta­yari Jones and Tommy Orange among book award fi­nal­ists

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

NEW YORK - Ta­yari Jones’ “An Amer­i­can Mar­riage” and Tommy Orange’s “There, There,” two of the year’s most talked-about nov­els, are on the fic­tion longlist for the Na­tional Book Awards. Other books an­nounced Fri­day by the Na­tional Book Foun­da­tion in­clude Lau­ren Groff’s “Florida,” Bran­don Hob­son’s “Where the Dead Sit Talk­ing” and Jen­nifer Cle­ment’s “Gun Love.” The list fea­tures four de­but works, in­clud­ing Orange’s book, and three short story col­lec­tions, Groff’s among them. Ear­lier this week, the book foun­da­tion re­leased longlists of 10 in the categories of trans­la­tion, po­etry, young peo­ple’s lit­er­a­ture and non-fic­tion. Shortlists of five will come out Oct. 10. Win­ners will be an­nounced Nov. 14. The awards are cho­sen by five­mem­ber judg­ing pan­els that in­clude writ­ers, crit­ics and oth­ers in the lit­er­ary com­mu­nity. Jones’ book, a story told mostly in letters about a black man’s wrong­ful im­pris­on­ment, al­ready was widely known thanks to Oprah Win­frey’s se­lect­ing it for her book club. Orange’s novel about an Amer­i­can In­dian com­mu­nity in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia, has re­ceived nearuni­ver­sal praise, with The New York Times call­ing it a “rev­e­la­tion” that marks “the pass­ing of a gen­er­a­tional ba­ton.” Be­sides “Florida,” judges chose a pair of de­but story col­lec­tions: “A Lucky Man,” by Jamel Brinkley and Nafissa Thomp­son Spires’ “Heads of the Col­ored Peo­ple: Sto­ries.”

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