The National Book Awards has released the names of its 2020 nominees, including two acclaimed debut novelists: Megha Majumdar and Douglas Stuart, both their fiction novels taking on serious cultural themes.
Majumdar’s A Burning is about a Muslim girl trying to make it out of the slums and is accused of being linked to a terrorist attack on a train, and Stuart’s Shuggie Bain tells of the childhood of a young boy in 1980’s Scotland, growing up in the throws of poverty and drugs.
Among the non-fiction authors nominated are Isabel Wilkerson for Caste, Jill Lepore for If Then, Claudio Saunt for Unworthy Republic and Frank B. Wilderson III for Afropessimism, a philosophical memoir and essay about how the Black experience is seen through the lens of slavery. The text Undocumented Americans also brought Karla Cornejo Villavicencio to the list with her honest memoir paired with extensive research into immigration.
The finalists of this list will be revealed on October 6th, and the winners will be announced via a virtual ceremony on November 18th.