The National Book Awards were held in New York on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Established in 1950, the awards celebrate the best writing in America and currently honor the best fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people's literature published each year.
Publishers nominate titles, and books in each category are judged by a panel of distinguished writers, translators, critics, librarians, and booksellers. This year more than 1,600 books were nominated. The judging panels develop their own criteria each year, but the book must have been initially published by a US-based publisher.
Each judges panel selects a longlist of ten titles in each category. The list is then narrowed down to the top-five finalists, and a winner is announced in the fall. This year's winners included:
Fiction: Sigrid Nunez's The Friend
Nonfiction: Jeffrey C. Stewart's The New Negro
Poetry: Justin Phillip Reed's Indecency
Translated Literature: Yoko Tawada's The Emissary, translated by Margaret Mitsutani
Young People's Literature: Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X
The National Book Foundation also announced the recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (DCAL)—Isabel Allende. She is the first Spanish-language author to receive the award. Allende has written more than two dozen books, including The House of the Spirits. You can find a full list of her titles available from the library on our website.