US National Book Awards 2019 finalists

Laila Lalami, Scholastique Mukasonga, and Akwaeke Emezi are finalists for the US National Book Awards 2019 announced on October 8, 2019.

The US National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards and two-lifetime achievement awards to authors every November. The awards are handed out in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. In mid-September, the longlists for the 2019 edition of the prize were announced with Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet in the young people’s category, Scholastique Mukasonga’s The Barefoot Woman in the translated literature category, and Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans in the fiction category.

The finalists for the awards have been announced today and these writers have all made it through. Here are the finalists in each category that we as Africans have an interest in with our people in bold.


Laila Lalami
Laila Lalami. Photo/Wikipedia
  • Susan Choi, Trust Exercise
  • Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Corina: Stories
  • Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf
  • Laila Lalami, The Other Americans
  • Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth

Translated literature

Scholastique Mukasonga
Scholastique Mukasonga
  • Khaled Khalifa, Death Is Hard Work Translated from Arabic by Leri Price
  • László Krasznahorkai, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming Translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet
  • Scholastique Mukasonga, The Barefoot Woman Translated from French by Jordan Stump
  • Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police Translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder
  • Pajtim Statovci, Crossing Translated from Finnish by David Hackston

Young people’s literature

Akwaeke Emezi
Akwaeke Emezi
  • Akwaeke Emezi, Pet
  • Jason Reynolds, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • Randy Ribay, Patron Saints of Nothing
  • Laura Ruby, Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
  • Martin W. Sandler, 1919: The Year That Changed America

The winners will be revealed at the National Book Awards ceremony and benefit dinner on November 20 in New York City, USA.