The past week was an exciting moment in the world of books and publishing. For the first time, the National Book Awards were held entirely virtually (here’s where you can watch the ceremony). And here’s an overview of some important moments.
Fiction: Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
- From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.
Nonfiction: The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Tamara Payne and Les Payne
- An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author’s interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative.
Poetry: DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi
- Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi’s DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts.
Translated literature: Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri, translated by Morgan Giles
- A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo’s busiest train stations.
Young People’s Literature: King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
- In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.
Walter Mosely was also honored at the National Book Awards with the annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.