Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” Among National Book Awards Finalists


Ta-Nehisi Coates’ much-honored “Between the World and Me” is up for yet another prize: the National Book Award.

The National Book Awards released its list of finalists Wednesday morning, and Coates’ book — which explores issues of race and culture in the form of a heartfelt letter to his son — is one of five nominees in the nonfiction category.

Others on the nonfiction list include Sally Mann’s “Hold Still,” Sy Montgomery’s “The Soul of an Octopus,” Carla Power’s “If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran” and Tracy K. Smith’s “Ordinary Light.”

The fiction finalists are Karen E. Bender’s “Refund,” Angela Flournoy’s “The Turner House,” Lauren Groff’s “Fates and Furies,” Adam Johnson’s “Fortune Smiles” and Hanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life.”

Though Coates, who recently earned a MacArthur “Genius Award,” may be the front-runner, he’s no sure thing.

Photographer Mann got rave reviews for what The New York Times called an “uncommonly beautiful” memoir, and Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, was hailed as “powerful” and “evocative” by such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle and the Guardian.

It’s the season for book awards. On Tuesday, the Man Booker Prize, given to the best English-language work of fiction published in the UK, went to Jamaican novelist Marlon James for his novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”

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SOURCE: CNN, Todd Leopold