Tayari Jones and Tommy Orange among book award finalists

September 14, 2018 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Tayari Jones’ “An American Marriage” and Tommy Orange’s “There, There,” two of the year’s most talked-about novels, are on the fiction longlist for the National Book Awards.

Other books announced Friday by the National Book Foundation include Lauren Groff’s “Florida,” Brandon Hobson’s “Where the Dead Sit Talking” and Jennifer Clement’s “Gun Love.” The list features four debut works, including Orange’s book, and three short story collections, Groff’s among them.

Earlier this week, the book foundation released longlists of 10 in the categories of translation, poetry, young people’s literature and non-fiction. Shortlists of five will come out Oct. 10. Winners will be announced Nov. 14.

The awards are chosen by five-member judging panels that include writers, critics and others in the literary community.

Jones’ book, a story told mostly in letters about a black man’s wrongful imprisonment, already was widely known thanks to Oprah Winfrey’s selecting it for her book club. Orange’s novel about an American Indian community in Oakland, California, has received near-universal praise, with The New York Times calling it a “revelation” that marks “the passing of a generational baton.”

Besides “Florida,” judges chose a pair of debut story collections: “A Lucky Man,” by Jamel Brinkley and Nafissa Thompson-Spires’ “Heads of the Colored People: Stories.”

Also on Friday’s longlist were Daniel Gumbiner’s “The Boatbuilder,” Rebecca Makkai’s “The Great Believers” and Sigrid Nunez’s “The Friend.”