NEW YORK -- A comprehensive new biography of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, a memoir on family by the prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and an exploration of the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s are among 10 books on the nonfiction longlist of the National Book Awards.
The National Book Foundation, which presents the awards, also released its poetry longlist Thursday, a day after announcing 10 nominees each in the categories of young people's literature and books in translation. Judges will next month reduce each list to five finalists, with the winners to be announced during a Manhattan dinner ceremony on Nov. 15. The foundation will unveil the fiction longlist on Friday.
Jonathan Eig's “King: A Life" is a nonfiction nominee, along with Nguyen's “A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial,” Donovan X. Ramsey's “When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era,” Ned Blackhawk's “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History” and Prudence Peiffer's “The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever.”
The other nonfiction works on the longlist are Cristina Rivera Garza's “Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice,” Christina Sharpe's “Ordinary Notes,” Raja Shehadeh's “We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir,” John Vaillant's “Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World” and Kidada E. Williams' “I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction.”
In poetry, former National Book Award finalist Monica Youn is a nominee for “From, From,” Utah poet laureate Paisley Rekdal was cited for “West: A Translation” and Craig Santos Perez for the latest in his series on the indigenous Chamoru people, “from unincorporated territory (åmot)."
Others on the poetry longlist are John Lee Clark's “How to Communicate,” Oliver de la Paz's “The Diaspora Sonnets,” Annelyse Gelman's “Vexations,” José Olivarez's “Promises of Gold,” Brandon Som's “Tripas,” Charif Shanahan's “Trace Evidence” and Evie Shockley's “suddenly we.”