No finalists were announced this year.
National Book Awards 1951
One of America’s most enigmatic literary figures, Herman Melville lived a life full of adventure, hardship, and moral conflict. Known for his nautical escapades. Melville first went to sea in his early twenties, sailing to England and then Polynesia where he found himself fleeing from cannibals, joining a mutiny, and frolicking with naked islanders. His novels were, for the most part, unsuccessful and misunderstood, and later in life he had to accept work as a low-level customs agent to support his wife and children. His only close friend was Nathaniel Hawthorne to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick. Newton Arvin’s eminently readable biography beautifully captures the troubled, often reclusive man whose major works include Typee, Omoo, Bartleby the Scrivener, Billy Budd, and his indisputable masterpiece, Moby-Dick.
The Auroras of Autumn
The Trouble of One House
* Brendan Gill was not officially a Finalist in 1951, but the Fiction Jury decided to award him a special citation.
Gill wrote for The New Yorker for more than sixty years and published a bestselling memoir, Here at The New Yorker (1975), about his experiences at the magazine.
The Collected Stories of William Faulkner
Forty-two stories make up this magisterial collection by the writer who stands at the pinnacle of modern American fiction. Compressing an epic expanse of vision into hard and wounding narratives, Faulkner’s stories evoke the intimate textures of place, the deep strata of history and legend, and all the fear, brutality, and tenderness of the human condition. These tales are set not only in Yoknapatawpha County, but in Beverly Hills and in France during World War I. They are populated by such characters as the Faulknerian archetypes Flem Snopes and Quentin Compson, as well as by ordinary men and women who emerge so sharply and indelibly in these pages that they dwarf the protagonists of most novels. [Vintage]