National Book Awards shortlist includes two Minneapolis authors

In the list of National Book Awards finalists, which was revealed Tuesday, Minnesotan authors claimed a disproportionate presence. Two writers from Minneapolis and two presses from the Twin Cities are among the contenders.

Five authors from the fiction, nonfiction, translated literature, poetry, and children’s literature categories are included in the National Book Foundation’s short list. On Nov. 16, the winners will be announced.

For her book “The Ogress and the Orphans,” Minneapolis author Kelly Barnhill is a finalist in the young people’s literature category. The Girl Who Drank the Moon, written by Barnhill, won the 2017 Newbery Medal

Damion Searls, a native of Minneapolis, earned the top five in the translated literature category with his translation of Norwegian author Jon Fosse’s “A New Name: Septology VI – VII.” French, Norwegian, German, and Dutch translations are provided by Searls.

“His Name is George Floyd,” penned by journalists Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, is one of the nonfiction shortlist’s works. The book investigates George Floyd’s life before his death in Minneapolis in 2020 triggered a widespread call for police justice.

The short list, which was dominated by New York publishing firms, included three books from Minnesota publishers. Sarah Booker’s translation of Mónica Ojeda’s “Jawbone” and Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s poetry book, “Look at This Blue,” were both published by Coffee House Press in Minneapolis. The Rupture Tense, a collection of poems by Jenny Xie, was released by Graywolf Press in St. Paul.


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