Heartfelt and politically timely works including Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Masha Gessen’s The Future Is History and Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead number among the 20 books named to the National Book Awards shortlists on Wednesday.
The National Book Foundation revealed its five finalists in each category ― Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People’s Literature ― on CBS This Morning.
The shortlists, like the longlists, are mixed between fresh faces and established heavy hitters. Jesmyn Ward, who won the Fiction award in 2011 for her novel Salvage the Bones, has made the shortlist again with her new book, Sing, Unburied, Sing; the Fiction shortlist also features two debut authors, Ko and Carmen Maria Machado.
Several big names didn’t make the cut from the 10-book longlists to the shortlists, including debut young adult novelist Angie Thomas’s bestselling The Hate U Give and past National Book nominee Jennifer Egan’s latest, Manhattan Beach.
The winners will be crowned on Nov. 15 during the 68th Annual National Book Awards Ceremony. The evening will also honor writer Annie Proulx, who will be awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and Scholastic chairman, president and CEO Dick Robinson, who will be given the Literarian Award for Outstanding Contribution to the American Literary Community.
Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing
Knopf / Penguin Random House
Lisa Ko, The Leavers
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill / Workman Publishing
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
Grand Central Publishing / Hachette Book Group
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
Scribner / Simon & Schuster
Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
37 INK / Atria / Simon & Schuster
Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
Simon & Schuster
Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House
David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Doubleday / Penguin Random House
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
Viking / Penguin Random House
Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers
Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings
University of Akron Press
Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS
Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor
Wesleyan University Press
Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems
Young People’s Literature
Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of
Carolrhoda Lab / Lerner Publishing Group
Robin Benway, Far from the Tree
HarperTeen / HarperCollinsPublishers
Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House
Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Amistad / HarperCollinsPublishers
Ibi Zoboi, American Street
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollinsPublishers
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.