US National Book Awards 2022 Longlist: Fiction

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The titles on the National Book Awards’ fiction longlist were chosen from an initial pool of 463 submitted books. Shortlists come October 4.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also:
US National Book Awards 2022 Longlist: Nonfiction
US National Book Awards 2022 Longlist: Poetry
US National Book Awards 2022 Longlist: Translation
US National Book Awards 2022 Longlist: Young People’s Literature
‘Maus’ Author Art Spiegelman Honored by US National Book Foundation
ALA’s Tracie Hall Receives the National Book Award’s Literarian Award

The Fifth of Five Categories’ Longlists
The United States’ National Book Foundation—with a prize ceremony set for November 16—today (September 16) concludes announcing its longlists for the 2022 National Book Awards. As is its annual procedure, the foundation has spread its five categories’ longlist announcements this week across three days.

Finalists—the shortlisted entries—are all to be named October 4.

This, the final longlist provided to members of the news media is for the National Book Award for fiction. Before this fiction list, we’ve had the program’s 10-book lists in young people’s literature; translated literature, nonfiction, and poetry.

Of the 10 titles on the today’s fiction longlist, eight are debut publications.

Only one writer on this year’s list  has been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Gayl Jones was a finalist for the National Book  Award for fiction in 1998 for her novel, The Healing.

These longlisted authors have been recognized by other awards including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Award for fiction; DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; the Emmy Awards; the PEN/Hemingway Award for a debut novel; the Plimpton Prize for fiction; the Terry Southern Prize for Humor; and the Pushcart Prize.

Publishers submitted a total of 463 books for the 2022 National Book Award for fiction.

The judges in fiction are Ben Fountain (chair), Brandon Hobson, Pam Houston, Dana Johnson, and Michelle Malonzo

Fiction 2022 Longlist
Writer Title Publisher / Imprint
Fatimah Asghar When We Were Sisters Penguin Random House / One World
Ramona Emerson Shutter Soho Press / Soho Crime
Jonathan Escoffery If I Survive You Macmillan / Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Tess Gunty The Rabbit Hutch Penguin Random House / Alfred A. Knopf
Gayl Jones The Birdcatcher Beacon Press
Jamil Jan Kochai The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories Penguin Random House / Viking
Sarah Thankam Mathew All This Could Be Different Penguin Random House / Viking
Leigh Newman Nobody Gets Out Alive Simon & Schuster
Marytza K. Rubio Maria, Maria & Other Stories WW Norton & Company / Liveright
Alejandro Varela The Town of Babylon Astra Publishing House / Astra House

As always, the jury’s decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and board of directors and deliberations are strictly confidential.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 165th report on awards-related news published in the 172 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

National Book Awards trophies. Image: NBA


More from Publishing Perspectives on the National Book Awards in the United States is here and more on the huge field of international book awards and prizes is here. More from us on the United States’ market is here

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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