The National Book Awards were established in 1950 to celebrate the best writing in America. Since 1989, they have been overseen by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. Although other categories have been recognized in the past, the Awards currently honors the best Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature published each year. (nationalbook.org). The winners for 2022 will announced November 16th. In celebration of the National Book Awards, check out the winners of the Fiction category for the last ten years which are available in audio on BARD.
Hell of a book: or the altogether factual, Wholly Bona Fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made Mad Kid DB104515
A Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. His story is intertwined with Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.
Every day, actor Willis Wu heads to the Chinatown restaurant where they are perpetually filming a police procedural TV show. He feels like he plays a bit role even in his own life, but dreams of one day having a chance at something more. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Trust exercise DB94561
In the 1980s, David and Sarah are both students at a competitive performing arts high school. Their passionate relationship is noticed by the school’s charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. Years later, Sarah publishes a novel about that time in her life, calling into question what really happened. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
A writing professor is mourning the suicide of her best friend and mentor, a famous author. She takes responsibility for Apollo, her friend’s huge Great Dane, finding in the dog someone to share her immense grief. Some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
Sing, unburied, sing: a novel DB89552
Thirteen-year-old Jojo has been raised by his grandparents, as his black mother, Leonie, is a drug addict and his white father, Michael, is in prison. When Michael is released, Leonie packs Jojo and his baby sister in the car for a nightmarish road trip. Violence and strong language. 2017.
The Underground Railroad DB85212
Cora, a third-generation slave, flees the plantation where she lives. She escapes with a man who claims to know how to get to the Underground Railroad. Once there, she discovers it is an actual railroad, and every stop shows her moments of horror and joy. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.
A collection of short stories from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son (DB 74282). A man searches for his son’s mother. A computer programmer finds comfort in a digital copy of the recently assassinated president. A former Stasi agent ponders his past. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
Twelve stories about soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the personal wars they fight reintegrating into society at home. In the title story, a soldier who had to shoot dogs on the battlefield must readjust to life in suburban America. Violence. 2014.
Henry “Onion” Shackleford is a ten-year-old slave when abolitionist John Brown rolls into town. Henry’s father is killed in a scuffle and John Brown takes in Henry, believing him to be “Henrietta.” Living as a girl, Henry bears witness to Brown’s reign of terror. Violence and strong language. National Book Award. 2013.
North Dakota, 1988. Thirteen-year-old Joe Coutts’s mother Geraldine, a tribal enrollment specialist, is brutally raped at the Ojibwe Round House. Joe and his father, a judge, each search for Geraldine’s attacker to bring him to justice. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. National Book Award. Bestseller. 2012.
Salvage the bones: a novel DB74033
Mississippi, August 2005. Young black teenager Esch Batiste–pregnant, hungry, and rejected–helps her widowed father and three brothers prepare for the approaching hurricane. When the storm arrives, the family seeks refuge in the attic. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. National Book Award. 2011.