The Longlist for the National Book Awards

The contenders include a debut novelist and a previous winner.

NEWS BRIEF The National Book Foundation announced Thursday its longlist of 10 titles in the running for the National Book Award for fiction, which celebrates the best in American literature over the past year.

Garth Greenwell (What Belongs to You) is the sole debut novelist in this year’s longlist, released in The New Yorker. There are veteran writers in the form of Chris Bachelder for The Throwback Special, his fourth book; Paulette Jiles for News of the World, Karan Mahajan for The Association of Small Bombs, Elizabeth McKenzie for The Portable Veblen, and Lydia Millet for the Sweet Lamb of Heaven.

Previous finalists also made the list, including Adam Haslett, (also previously nominated for a Pulitzer Prize) for Imagine Me Gone, Brad Watson, for his second novel, Miss Jane, and Jacqueline Woodson, who previously won in the Young People’s Literature category for her 2014 memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, this time longlisted for her novel Another Brooklyn. Colson Whitehead  is nominated for the critically acclaimed The Underground Railroad, which follows a slave’s adventures in the antebellum South.

The fiction longlist follows a week full of announcements, with the National Book Foundation unveiling the contenders for the Young People’s Literature, Poetry, and Nonfiction categories. The 40 books in the running this year span a diverse range of genres, writers, and experiences.

Lisa Lucas, the executive director of the National Book Foundation, said: “These are all really different books, with high-quality writers in varying stages of their careers,” she  said. “All these books are about different journeys, lives, families, experiences.”

Lucas said she was not only excited for first-time writers who made the cut to gain new attention and acclaim, but also for readers to encounter these new titles for the first time.

The finalists will be revealed October 13, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony in New York on November 16.