Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, and Colum McCann have all won the Award.
In order to be eligible for the Award, a book must be written by an American citizen and published by an American publisher between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. Self-published books are only eligible if the author/publisher publishes the work of other authors in addition to his own.
Here are the Fiction contenders for 2013:
A story alternating between Iowa and Los Angeles follows Joan Gower, a mother who deserted her family but wants a second chance with her son, Micah, who moves with her to L.A. and has trouble adjusting to its fast and furious life of excess.
Charts the dramatic changes in the lives of three generations of one remarkable family, and the summer place that both shelters and isolates them. Ashaunt Point, Massachusetts, has anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote, rocky shore. But in 1942, the U.S. Army arrives on the Point, bringing havoc and change. That summer, the two older Porter girls – teenagers Helen and Dossie – run wild. The children’s Scottish nurse, Bea, falls in love. And youngest daughter, Janie, is entangled in an incident that cuts the season short and haunts the family for years to come.
The year is 1975 and Reno–so-called because of the place of her birth–has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world–artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art. Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts.
The Lowland (M)
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives–Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America–until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
A haunting novel set in a nearly abandoned hospital in war-torn Chechnya that is both intimate and ambitious in scope. Eight-year-old Havaa, Akhmed, the neighbour who rescues her after her father’s disappearance, and Sonia, the doctor who shelters her over 5 dramatic days in December 2004, must all reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal and forgiveness which unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate. In his bold debut, Anthony Marra proves that sometimes fiction can tell us the truth of the world far better, and far more powerfully, than any news story.
An ordinary life – its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion – lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of “After This” . Scattered recollections – of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age – come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.
New York City, 2001. Fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO and discovers there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left of the tech bubble.
A collection of stories which includes “Home,” a wryly whimsical account of a soldier’s return from war; “Victory lap,” a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.
This collection of interconnected stories begins with the anarchist daughter of missionaries in Manhattan who runs away to be an activist and ends with a wealthy young adulterer in Paris who is outsmarted by the object of his desire.
Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in mid-nineteenth-century Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.