BWW Feature: National Book Awards 2017 Winners Announced

The 2017 National Book Award Winners were announced on Wednesday. One of the winners, Jesmyn Ward, became the first female to win two National Book Awards, first for SALVAGE THE BONES in 2011, and now for SING, UNBURIED, SING. Only seventeen women have won the National Book Award for Best Fiction in the almost-seventy years of the Awards.

Originally, the awards had more than 1,500 books to choose from. They narrowed it down to a handful of finalists in October before revealing the winners this week. The competition was fierce; heavy-weight titles such as THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, which spent most of 2017 at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List, and highly-anticipated new release MANHATTAN BEACH from A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD author Jennifer Egan were knocked out of the final round.

Here are the finalists for this year's National Book Awards, with the winners in bold:


  • Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing
  • Lisa Ko, The Leavers
  • Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
  • Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
  • WINNER: Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing


  • Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
  • Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
  • WINNER: Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
  • David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
  • Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America


  • WINNER: Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
  • Leslie Harrison, The Book of Endings
  • Layli Long Soldier, WHEREAS
  • Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor
  • Danez Smith, Don't Call Us Dead: Poems

Young People's Literature

  • Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of
  • WINNER: Robin Benway, Far from the Tree
  • Erika L. Sánchez, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
  • Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
  • Ibi Zoboi, American Street

BWW Feature: National Book Awards 2017 Winners Announced

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From This Author Bonnie Lynn Wagner

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