It’s book award season!

The Mann Booker Prize winner has just been announced (Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel), and now the finalists for the National Book Award have been announced.

The fiction nominees:

american salvageAmerican Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell.  A lush and rowdy collection of stories set in a rural Michigan landscape, where wildlife, jobs, and ways of life are vanishing. …”American Salvage” is rich with local color and peopled with rural characters who love and hate extravagantly. (from the publisher)

great world

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.  In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in (this) stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people. (from the publisher)

in-other-rooms_lIn Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin.  This collection of linked stories illuminates a place and a people through an examination of the entwined lives of landowners and their retainers on the Gurmani family farm in the countryside outside of Lahore, Pakistan. (from the publisher)

lark and termiteLark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips. A coming-of-age tale of grief and survival, the story straddles a parallel six-day period in July, one in 1959—during which 17-year-old Lark; her brother, Termite, who cant talk; and their aunt and caretaker, Nonie, are struggling to balance hope and despair in smalltown West Virginia. (Publisher’s Weekly)

far northFar North by Marcel Theroux.  Global warming has decimated civilization, and narrator Makepeace Hatfield is the sole survivor of her Siberian settlement. After coming across another survivor and seeing a plane in the sky, Makepeace heads out to find other settlements.(Publisher’s Weekly)

You can find the entire list of nominees in all categories at the National Book Foundation website.  The winners are to be announced on November 18, 2009.

Have you read them, or are you tempted because of the nomination?

– posted by Susan, Readers’ Services

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