JUDGES SELECT FINALISTS
FOR 2004 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
Winners to be Announced
on November 17 at Benefit
Ceremony Hosted by Garrison Keillor
Will Receive Medal for Distinguished
Contribution to American Letters
New York, New York (October 13,
2004)-The 20 Finalists for the 2004 National Book Awards,
announced today, are among America's most gifted and original
writers and their books represent an astonishing range of
styles, voices, and themes.
Among the Finalists are a first novelist,
two distinguished historians, five prolific and established
poets, two previous Finalists - including the poet Donald
Justice, who died earlier this year - and the 9/11 Commission.
All five Fiction Finalists are women who live in New York
City. Also, five small presses have books on the list of Finalists.
The announcement was made this morning by Garrison Keillor
at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Keillor will host the National Book Awards Benefit Dinner
and Ceremony in Manhattan on November 17.
The Finalists in the Young People's
Literature category tackle such sensitive subjects as sexual
identity, racism, and atheism, while the Nonfiction Finalists
offer new insights into Shakespeare's life and work, Washington
crossing the Delaware, re-entry into the outside world for
prisoners, civil rights in the jazz age, and the events and
lessons learned from 9/11.
The Finalists were selected by four
distinguished, independent panels of Judges who were given
the charge of selecting what they deem to be the best books
of the year. Their decisions are made independent of and without
interference by the National Book Foundation and their deliberations
are strictly confidential. To be eligible for a 2004 National
Book Award, a book must have been published in the United
States between December 1, 2003 and November 30, 2004 and
must have been written by a United States citizen. This year
the Judges chose from a record 1,074 entries submitted by
226 publishers and imprints.
The winners in each of the four categories
- Young People's Literature, Nonfiction, Poetry, and
Fiction - will be announced on November 17 at the Benefit
Dinner and Ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.
Each winner receives $10,000 plus a bronze statue; each Finalist
receives a bronze medal and a $1,000 cash award.
Also that evening, the Board of Directors
of the National Book Foundation will bestow its 2004 Medal
for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters upon
Judy Blume, who will deliver an address to an audience
of more than 1,000 authors, editors, publishers, friends,
and supporters of books and book publishing. Proceeds from
the evening benefit the National Book Foundation and the many
educational outreach programs it runs throughout the year.
"We are delighted with the Judges'
selections for this year's National Book Award Finalists,
which represent a wonderful cross-section of the best of American
writing and culture," said Harold Augenbraum, Executive
Director of the National Book Foundation. "We imagine
the Judges' discussions regarding the selection of this year's
Winners will be quite spirited, as the level of excellence
is extremely high across the genres."
Following is the list of the 2004
National Book Award Finalists in Young People's Literature,
Nonfiction, Poetry, and Fiction. Additional descriptions of
the titles and author biographies or call Camille McDuffie
at Goldberg McDuffie Communications at (212) 446-5106.
Readings, discussions, and special
events will take place during "National Book Awards Week."
For details call (212) 446-5106.
The Judges for the 2004 National
Fiction panel: Rick
Moody (chair), Linda Hogan, Randall Kenan, Stewart
O'Nan, and Susan Straight.
Nonfiction panel: Diane
Wood Middlebrook (chair), Douglas Brinkley,
Ted Conover, Thadious Davis, and Katherine Newman.
Young People's Literature panel:
(chair), James Haskins, Marie G. Lee, Phoebe Stone,
and Neil Waldman.
Poetry panel: Michael
Waters (chair), Lynn Emanuel, James Galvin,
Naomi Shihab Nye, and Al Young.
2004 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS
Young People's Literature
Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart (Simon & Schuster
Books for Young Readers)
Hautman, Godless (Simon & Schuster Books for
Carrick Hill, Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of
the Harlem Renaissance (Megan Tingley Books/Little, Brown
P. Moses, The Legend of Buddy Bush (Margaret K.
McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Anne Peters, Luna: A Novel (Megan Tingley Books/Little,
Brown & Company)
Boyle, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights,
and Murder in the Jazz Age (Henry Holt & Company,
Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing (Oxford
Gonnerman, Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey
of Elaine Bartlett
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became
Shakespeare (W.W. Norton & Company)
9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final
Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon
the United States-Authorized Edition (W.W. Norton &
Heyen, Shoah Train (Etruscan Press)
Justice, Collected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf)
Phillips, The Rest of Love (Farrar, Straus &
Swensen, Goest (Alice James Books)
Valentine, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected
Poems, 1965-2003 (Wesleyan University Press)
Shun-lien Bynum, Madeleine is Sleeping (Harcourt,
Schutt, Florida (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern
Silber, Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories (W.W.
Norton & Company)
Tuck, The News from Paraguay (HarperCollinsPublishers)
Walbert, Our Kind: A Novel in Stories (Scribner)