Watch the 2023 National Book Awards Finalist Reading

November 2023

News Video


Each year, the Finalists in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature gather the evening before the National Book Awards Ceremony to read excerpts from their honored works.

The 2023 National Book Awards Finalist Reading will be hosted by Parul Sehgal, staff writer at The New Yorker.

The event will be presented in person at NYU Skirball and livestreamed.
The program will begin at 7:00pm EST.

Presented in partnership with the NYU Creative Writing Program.

To learn more about the 2023 National Book Awards Finalists, click here.

Fiction Finalists:

  • Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Chain-Gang All-Stars
  • Aaliyah Bilal, Temple Folk
  • Paul Harding, This Other Eden
  • Hanna Pylväinen, The End of Drum-Time
  • Justin Torres, Blackouts

Nonfiction Finalists:

  • Ned Blackhawk, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History
  • Cristina Rivera Garza, Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice
  • Christina Sharpe, Ordinary Notes
  • Raja Shehadeh, We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir
  • John Vaillant, Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World

Poetry Finalists:

  • John Lee Clark, How to Communicate
  • Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory [åmot]
  • Evie Shockley, suddenly we
  • Brandon Som, Tripas
  • Monica Youn, From From

Translated Literature Finalists:

  • Bora Chung and translator Anton Hur, Cursed Bunny
  • David Diop and translator Sam Taylor, Beyond the Door of No Return
  • Stênio Gardel and translator Bruna Dantas Lobato, The Words That Remain
  • Pilar Quintana and translator Lisa Dillman, Abyss
  • Astrid Roemer and translator Lucy Scott, On a Woman’s Madness

Young People’s Literature Finalists:

  • Kenneth M. Cadow, Gather
  • Huda Fahmy, Huda F Cares?
  • Vashti Harrison, Big
  • Katherine Marsh, The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine
  • Dan Santat, A First Time for Everything

(Finalists will not appear in this order. For select Finalists unable to attend, a literary luminary will read on their behalf.)

author photo of Parul Sehgal. (Photo credit: David Surowiecki)
Parul Sehgal. (Photo credit: David Surowiecki)


Parul Sehgal is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She was previously a book critic at the New York Times, where she also worked as a senior editor and columnist. She has won awards for her criticism from the New York Press Club, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. She teaches in the graduate creative writing program at New York University.


The 74th National Book Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on November 15, 2023 at 8:00pm ET. Sign up to watch, receive updates about the upcoming ceremony, and discover this year’s Winners in real-time.