Home Book Award The long list of National Book Awards 2022: Fiction

The long list of National Book Awards 2022: Fiction


This week, The New Yorker announced the lists of finalists for the 2022 National Book Awards. Earlier, we featured the lists for Children’s Literature, Translated Literature, Poetry, and Non-Fiction.

Jonathan Escoffery’s collection of interconnected short stories, “If I Survive You,” follows a Jamaican family living in Miami as they struggle to survive amid racism, recession, and Hurricane Andrew. The book, which varies between first, second, and third person, past, present, and future tenses, “feels incredibly free,” writes Katy Waldman in a recent review. Escoffery’s stylistic exuberance contrasts with his subject matter, which Waldman describes as “a litany of cruelties which people in difficult circumstances render to one another”.

Escoffery’s collection is one of eight fiction debuts on the long list of this year’s National Book Award for Fiction, along with Fatimah Asghar’s ‘When We Were Sisters’; “The City of Babylon”, by Alejandro Varela; “It Could All Be Different,” by Sarah Thankam Mathews; “Nobody Gets Out Alive,” by Leigh Newman; “The Rabbit Hutch,” by Tess Gunty; “Maria, Maria: & Other Stories,” by Marytza K. Rubio; and “Shutter”, by Ramona Emerson. Only one nominee, Gayl Jones, has ever been honored by the National Book Awards, for her 1998 novel “The Healing.” The full list is below.

Fatimah AsgarWhen we were sisters
One World / Penguin Random House

Ramona EmersonShutter
Soho Crime / Soho Press

Jonathan EscofferyIf I survive you
MCD / Farrar, Straus & Giroux / Macmillan Publishers

Tess GuntyThe rabbit hutch
Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House

gayl jonesThe bird catcher
Press tag

Jamil Jan KochaiThe Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories
Viking Books / Penguin Random House

Sarah Thankam MathewsIt could all be different
Viking Books / Penguin Random House

Leigh Newmanno one comes out alive
Scribner / Simon & Schuster

Marytza K.RubioMaria, Maria: and other stories
Liveright / WW Norton & Company

Alexandre VarelaThe city of Babylon
Astra House / Astra Publishing House

This year’s category judges are Ben Fountain, the author of “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk», finalist of the National Book Award in 2012; Brandon Hobson, whose novel “Where the dead speak sittingwas a 2018 National Book Award finalist; Pam Houston, the author of the memoirs “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country”; Dana Johnson, the author of the collection of short stories “In Not Quite Black”; and Michelle Malonzo, Operations Manager at The Word, a storytelling sanctuary. ♦