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National Book Awards - Fiction, 1950 - present

The National Book Awards are presented annually by the National Book Foundation for works
of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature.


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The Round House : A Novel
Erdrich, Louise.
New York, New York : Harper, 2012.

When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

Salvage the bones : a novel
Salvage the bones : a novel
Ward, Jesmyn.

Enduring a hardscrabble existence as the children of alcoholic and absent parents, four siblings from a coastal Mississippi town prepare their meager stores for the arrival of Hurricane Katrina while struggling with such challenges as a teen pregnancy and a dying litter of prize pups.

Lord of misrule : a novel
Lord of misrule : a novel
Gordon, Jaimy, 1944-
"Lord of Misrule" is a darkly realistic novel about a young woman living through a year of horse racing at a half-mile track in West Virginia, while everyone's best laid schemes keep going brutally wrong. With her first novel since her acclaimed "Bogeywoman" (1999), Jaimy Gordon bears comparison to other great writers of the American demimonde, such as Nathanael West, Damon Runyon, and Eudora Welty.

Let the great world spin : a novel
Let the great world spin : a novel
McCann, Colum, 1965-
McCann's most ambitious work to date offers a dazzling and hauntingly rich vision of the loveliness, pain, and mystery of life in New York City in the 1970s.

Shadow country : a new rendering of the Watson legend
Shadow country : a new rendering of the Watson legend
Matthiessen, Peter.
Peter Matthiessen's great American epic, Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man's River, and Bone by Bone, was conceived as one vast mysterious novel, but because of its length it was originally broken up into three books. In this bold new rendering, Matthiessen has cut nearly a third of the overall text and collapsed the time frame while deepening the insights and motivations of his characters with brilliant rewriting throughout. In Shadow Country, he has marvelously distilled a monumental work, realizing his original vision. Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son.

Tree of smoke
Johnson, Denis, 1949-
This is the story of Skip Sands--spy-in-training, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong--and the disasters that befall him thanks to his famous uncle, a war hero known in intelligence circles simply as the Colonel. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, and its gritty, sympathetic portraits of men and women desperate for an end to their loneliness, whether in sex or death or by the grace of God, this is a story like nothing in our literature.

The echo maker
Powers, Richard, 1957-
On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, 27-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister Karin, his only near kin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman-who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister-is really an identical impostor. Shattered by her brother's refusal to recognize her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case histories describing the infinitely bizarre worlds of brain disorder. Weber recognizes Mark as a rare case of Capgras Syndrome, a doubling delusion, and eagerly investigates.

Europe central
Vollmann, William T.
In Europe Central, Vollmann presents a mesmerizing series of intertwined paired stories that compare and contrast the moral decisions made by various figures-some famous, some infamous, some unknown, associated with the warring authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR in the twentieth century.

The news from Paraguay : a novel
Tuck, Lily, 1938-
For him it began with a bright blue parrot feather that fell from Ella Lynch's hat when she was horseback riding in the Bois de Boulogne. The year was 1854, and Francisco Solano Lopez -- "Franco," the future dictator of Paraguay -- began his courtship of the young, beautiful Irishwoman with a poncho, a Paraguayan band, and a horse named Mathilde. From Paris, Ella Lynch follows Franco to Asuncion, where she reigns as his mistress. Isolated and estranged in this new world, she embraces her lover's ill-fated dream -- one fueled by outsize imperial ambition and heedless arrogance, and with devastating consequences for Paraguay and all its inhabitants.

The great fire
Hazzard, Shirley, 1931-
In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women, still young but veterans of harsh experience, must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn, from their past, to dream again. Some will fulfill their destinies, others will falter. At the center of the story, a brave and brilliant soldier finds that survival and worldly achievement are not enough. His counterpart, a young girl living in occupied Japan and tending her dying brother, falls in love, and in the process discovers herself.

Three Junes
Glass, Julia, 1956-
Three Junesis a vividly textured symphonic novel set on both sides of the Atlantic during three fateful summers in the lives of a Scottish family. In June of 1989, Paul McLeod, the recently widowed patriarch, becomes infatuated with a young American artist while traveling through Greece and is compelled to relive the secret sorrows of his marriage. Six years later, Paul's death reunites his sons at Tealing, their idyllic childhood home, where Fenno, the eldest, faces a choice that puts him at the center of his family's future.

2001 The corrections
Franzen, Jonathan.

The Corrections, is a great work of art and a grandly entertaining overture to our new century: a bold, comic, tragic, deeply moving family drama that stretches from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of greed and globalism. Franzen brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scouts and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into brilliant collision with the modern absurdities of brain science, home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and the anti-gravity New Economy.

In America : a novel
Sontag, Susan, 1933-
In 1876 a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, emigrate to the United States and travel to California to found a "utopian commune". When the commune fails, Maryna stays, learns English, and -- as Marina Zalenska -- forges a new, even more triumphant career on the American stage, becoming a diva on par with Sara Bernhardt.

Jin, Ha, 1956-

Charming Billy
McDermott, Alice.

Cold mountain
Frazier, Charles, 1950-

Ship fever : stories
Barrett, Andrea.

Sabbath's theater
Roth, Philip.

A frolic of his own : a novel
Gaddis, William, 1922-

The shipping news
Proulx, Annie.

All the pretty horses
McCarthy, Cormac, 1933-

1991 Mating
Rush, Norman.


Middle passage
Johnson, Charles Richard, 1948-


Casey, John, 1939-


Paris Trout
Dexter, Pete, 1943-


Paco's Story
Heinemann, Larry


World's fair
Doctorow, E. L., 1931-


White noise
DeLillo, Don.

1984 Victory over Japan: A Book of Stories
Gilchrist, Ellen

1983 The color purple : a novel
Walker, Alice, 1944-


Rabbit is rich
Updike, John.

1981 Plains Song
Morris, Wright

1980 Sophie's choice
Styron, William, 1925-


Going after Cacciato
O'Brien, Tim, 1946-

1978 Blood Ties
Settle, Mary Lee.

1977 The spectator bird
Stegner, Wallace Earle, 1909-


Gaddis, William, 1922-1998.

1975 Dog soldiers, a novel.
Stone, Robert, 1937-


1974 Gravity's rainbow.
Pynchon, Thomas.


Barth, John.

The complete stories.
O'Connor, Flannery.

1971 Mr. Sammler's planet.
Bellow, Saul.


1970 Them.
Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938-


1969 Steps
Kosinski, Jerzy

1968 The eighth day
Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975.


1967 The fixer.
Malamud, Bernard.


1966 The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
Porter, Katherine Anne

1965 Herzog.
Bellow, Saul.


The centaur
Updike, John.

Morte D'Urban
Powers, J. F. (James Farl), 1917-

The moviegoer
Percy, Walker, 1916-

1961 The Waters of Kronos
Richter, Conrad

1960 Goodbye, Columbus : and five short stories
Roth, Philip.


The magic barrel
Malamud, Bernard.

1958 The Wapshot chronicle
Cheever, John.


1957 The Field of Vision
Morris, Wright

1956 Ten North Frederick.
O'Hara, John, 1905-1970.


A fable
Faulkner, William, 1897-1962.

The adventures of Augie March
Bellow, Saul.

Invisible man
Ellison, Ralph.

From here to eternity
Jones, James, 1921-1977.

Short stories. Selections
Faulkner, William, 1897-1962.

1950 The man with the golden arm
Algren, Nelson, 1909-

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Last modified on Thursday, November 15, 2012