National Book Award for Fiction reading list

2016 Winner

Colson WhiteheadThe Underground Railroad

Chronicles the daring survival story of a cotton plantation slave in Georgia, who, after suffering at the hands of both her owners and fellow slaves, races through the Underground Railroad with a relentless slave-catcher close behind.

Other novels from the author: Zone One (2011), Sag Harbor (2009), Apex Hides the Hurt (2006), John Henry Days (2001), The Intuitionist (1999).


2016 Finalists

Chris BachelderThe Throwback Special
Follows the lives of a group of men who gather annually to recreate the November 1985 football play in which Joe Theismann suffered a horrible, career-ending broken leg.

Paulette JilesNews of the World
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people.

Karan MahajanThe Association of Small Bombs
After witnessing his two friends killed by a small bomb that detonated in a Dehli marketplace, Mansoor Ahmed becomes involved with a charismatic young activist, whose allegiances and beliefs are more changeable than he could have imagined.

Jacqueline WoodsonAnother Brooklyn
For August, running into a long-ago friend sets in motion resonant memories and transports her to a time and a place she thought she had mislaid: 1970s Brooklyn, where friendship was everything. August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi shared confidences as they ambled their neighborhood streets, a place where the girls believed that they were amazingly beautiful, brilliantly talented, with a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful promise there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where mothers disappeared, where fathers found religion, and where madness was a mere sunset away. Woodson heartbreakingly illuminates the formative period when a child meets adulthood — when precious innocence meets the all-too-real perils of growing up.


2016 Longlist

Garth GreenwellWhat Belongs to You
Adam HaslettImagine Me Gone
Lydia MilletSweet Lamb of Heaven
Brad WatsonMiss Jane


Previous Winners

2015, Adam JohnsonFortune Smiles: Stories
2014, Phil KlayRedeployment
2013, James McBrideThe Good Lord Bird
25 Years Ago, Cormac McCarthyAll the Pretty Horses
50 Years Ago, Bernard MalamudThe Fixer


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