The National Book Award winners have just been announced, gracing the book community with five new books to obsess over. While only one book from each genre won, there were many books considered.
Make sure to check out 2022’s National Book Award finalists!
The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty
The Rabbit Hutch follows Blandine as she lives with three teenage boys she doesn’t particularly like. The four teenagers have all aged out of the state foster care system and work through their life and love problems together.
The novel takes place over one week in July when drama uproots everything, changing the lives of everyone. The Rabbit Hutch the hardships and complexities that come with growing up. I am most certainly adding this to my book wishlist!
South to America argues that you must understand the South to understand America (this is quite the statement that I agree with wholeheartedly).
This is the story of a Black woman and native Alabaman returning home, diving into the history, life, people, and behaviors of the South aiming to incite a change where our country needs it most. I am so happy to see such a necessary book getting the attention it deserves right now.
Punks: New & Selected Poems (Song Cave) by John Keene
Punks: New & Selected Poems features some of John Keene’s unpublished and newly written work about loss and love. He includes many voices in his poems: historic Black personalities, family, friends, and lovers. In short, there is something for everyone in this collection.
With the inclusion of important voices come important issues: oppression, AIDS, and grief. Keene’s poetry brings up relevant issues that spur much-needed discussion. I am once again so happy to see this piece as the winner.
Translated Literature Winner
Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin
Seven Empty Houses depicts seven very strange and different houses. This novel is very fanciful, featuring enticing and empty rooms, ghosts, mentions of death, and darkness.
All the fantasy aside, Samantha Schweblin’s novel, really makes you think. Bookshop.org describes it as “revealing surreal truths about our sense of home, of belonging, and of the fragility of our connections with others.” This sentence alone entices me to read this novel— what are these truths? What makes connections so fragile? On my way to purchase this book so I can get answers!
Young People’s Literature Winner
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
All My Rage is a teenage love story that spans generations and continents. Following families, lovers, and best friends, the story goes from Pakistan to California. We see the main characters dealing with all the ups and downs life throws their way.
Tahir’s novel reflects how it feels when you don’t belong somewhere, and what it means to start a new life in a place that is completely foreign to you.
What I love about the National Book Awards is it gives me so many new books to enjoy from genres I don’t usually read. Make sure to pick these up on Black Friday or add them to your holiday wishlists!
Click here to read about 2021 National Book Award Nominees from us here at Bookstr!