Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts Gleams At National Book Awards as Women Sweep Top Prizes

The 68th Annual National Book Awards Ceremony has come and gone and it was a good night for women writers. Hosted by Cynthia Nixon with guests like Bill Clinton, the ceremony celebrated some of the brightest names in 2017 literature. Women nabbed fifteen out of twenty National Book Award nominations and, ultimately, won four out of five. Considering the groups of judges for each category made totally independent decisions, that’s a pretty good sign of the changing times.


The winners in each category are:


Fiction winner:


Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing


Sing, Unburied, Sing

Image Via National Book Foundation


Fiction finalists:


Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing


Lisa Ko, The Leavers


Min Jin Lee, Pachinko


Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories


Nonfiction winner:


Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia


Future History

Image Via Amazon


Nonfiction finalists:


Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge


Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America


David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI


Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America


Poetry winner:


Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 



Image Via National Book Foundation


Poetry finalists:


Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings


Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS


Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor


Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems


Young People’s Literature winner:


Robin Benway, Far from the Tree


Far From the Tree

Image Via National Book Foundation


Young People’s Literature finalists:


Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of


Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter


Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground


Ibi Zoboi, American Street


Jesmyn Ward’s last novel, Salvage the Bones, was also a National Book Award-winner. Sing, Unburied, Sing follows thirteen-year-old Mississippi boy Jojo as he reckons with the painful history of America through an inmate ghost that bears the whole history of the South. Though I haven’t read it, it sounds powerful and it’s nice to see socially conscious stories mash-up genres.


In terms of media attention, the National Book Awards pales in comparison to other mediums’ award ceremonies (i.e. the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, etc.). Part of that is the lack of red carpet buzz. Emma Roberts put that to the test this year, though, wearing a beautiful Ulyana Sergeenko dress that’s completely sheer.


Emma Roberts

Image Via AOL


The National Book Awards have a great track record, and Executive Director Lisa Lucas has been doing a great job modernizing the National Book Foundation (the ceremony streamed live on Facebook to half a million people!). It’s a bright day for book lovers, especially those wondering what to add to their holiday gift lists!


You can watch the full ceremony here (begins at about the 10 minute mark)!



Feature Images Via AOL and CelebMafia