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Finalists Announced for 2022 National Book Awards

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Arvyn Cerézo

Senior Contributor

Arvyn Cerézo is an arts and culture writer/reporter with bylines in Book Riot, Publishers Weekly, South China Morning Post, PhilSTAR Life, the Asian Review of Books, and other publications. You can find them on and @ArvynCerezo on Twitter.

The 2022 National Book Awards finalists were announced on October 4. The nominees were picked from the 50 longlists revealed in September for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.

There are five authors and one translator among the five categories who have previously received National Book Awards recognition: Gayl Jones, selected as a finalist in 1998 for Fiction; Scholastique Mukasonga, chosen as a finalist for Translated Literature in 2019; Sharon Olds, nominated as a finalist in 2002 for Poetry; David Quammen, longlisted in 2018 for Nonfiction; and Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani, winners of Translated Literature in 2018. The five Young People’s Literature Finalists are all first-time National Book Award nominees. Twenty-five of the finalist titles include six debuts.

The winners will each receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture at a live awards ceremony on November 16 in New York City. A bronze medal and $1,000 will also be awarded to each finalist. The translator and author split the prize money for the Translated Literature Award equally.

In the same awards event, Art Spiegelman will be awarded the 2022 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, while Tracie D. Hall will receive the 2022 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

The 25 finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards are:




Translated Literature

Young People’s Literature

For this year’s awards, the judges included Ben Fountain, Brandon Hobson, Pam Houston, Dana Johnson, and Michelle Malonzo for Fiction; Carol Anderson, Melissa Febos, Thor Hanson, Janet Webster Jones, and Oscar Villalon for Nonfiction; Kwame Dawes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Neil, and Mai Der Vang for Poetry; Nick Buzanski, Veronica Esposito, Ann Goldstein, Rohan Kamicheril, and Russell Scott Valentino for Translated Literature; and Becky Albertalli, Joseph Bruchac, Meghan Dietsche Goel, Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Lilliam Rivera for Young People’s Literature.

Similar to previous year, the entire awards ceremony will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and the website of the National Book Foundation.

Find more literary awards news in Breaking In Books and the news archives.