US National Book Awards 2023 Longlist: Fiction

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Three authors previously honored in the National Book Awards’ programs are among the 10 longlisted fiction titles for 2023.

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

See also:
US National Book Awards 2023 Longlist: Nonfiction
US National Book Awards 2023 Longlist: Translation
US National Book Awards 2023 Longlist: Young People’s Literature

Fiction Submissions Totaled 496 Titles
The United States’ National Book Foundation on Friday (September 15) released its 2023 10-title longlist in fiction.

Shortlists, called finalists in National Book Awards terminology, in all five categories are to be announced on October 3.

Winners are to be named at the 74th National Book Awards ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on November 15.

The 2023 Fiction Longlist

Jurors in this year’s Fiction category for the National Book Awards are Steph Cha, Calvin Crosby, Silas House, Mat Johnson (chair), and Helena María Viramontes.

Publishers submitted 496 books in this category, meaning that Nonfiction, with 638 submissions, was by far the most heavily contested of the five categories.

Three authors on this longlist have received National Book Award attention in the past:

  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah was a 2018 honoree in the “5 Under 35” program for relatively young writers
  • Jayne Anne Phillips was shortlisted for the National Book Award for fiction in 2009
  • Justin Torres was a 2012 honoree in the National Book Awards’ “5 Under 35” program

These longlisted authors’ past accolades include attention from the Arts and Letters Award, the Booker Prize for Fiction in the United Kingdom, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Whiting Award. Among these ten longlisted writers are fellows of the Cullman Center, Guggenheim, MacDowell, National Endowment for the Arts, and Stegner programs.

Their writing has been featured in venues including A Public SpaceGrantaGuernica, The Kenyon ReviewMcSweeney’s, The New YorkerThe Paris Review, and The Rumpus.

Author Title Publisher / Imprint
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Chain-Gang All-Stars Penguin Random House / Pantheon Books
Aaliyah Bilal Temple Folk Simon & Schuster
Eliot Duncan Ponyboy WW Norton
Paul Harding This Other Eden WW Norton
Tania James Loot Penguin Random House / Knopf
Jayne Anne Phillips Night Watch Penguin Random House / Knopf
Mona Susan Power A Council of Dolls HarperCollins / Mariner Books
Hanna Pylväinen The End of Drum-Time Macmillan / Henry Holt
Justin Torres Blackouts Macmillan / Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
LaToya Watkins Holler, Child Penguin Random House / Tiny Reparations

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

More on the 2023 National Book Awards:
US National Book Foundation: Poet Rita Dove Wins the 2023 Medal for Distinguished Contribution
US National Book Foundation: Bookseller Paul Yamazaki Wins the 2023 Literarian Medal


More from Publishing Perspectives on the National Book Awards is here and more on international book awards and prizes is here. More from us on fiction is here, and more on the United States’ market 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 (Fellow, 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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