The 2016 National Book Awards

National Book Award Winners

The winners of the National Book Award for 2016 include the following:


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson


Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andres Resendez
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson


The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky

Collected Poems 1974-2004 by Rita Dove
Archeophonics by Peter Gizzi
The Abridged History of Rainfall by Jay Hopler
Look by Solmaz Sharif

Young People’s Literature

March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Artist)

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
When the Sea Turned to Silver
 by Grace Lin
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

To see the 2016 longlists for each of these awards, to watch interviews with the authors, and to learn more in general about the National Book Awards and lists of the winners going back to 1950, go to the National Book Foundation website.

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Each year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty Judges, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. Historically, Judges are published writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field, and in some cases, are past NBA Finalists or Winners. Judging panels are not limited to writers, but also include other experts in the field such as literary critics, librarians, and booksellers. One of the five Judges on each panel is selected as the panel chair. This person acts as the voice of the panel and the liaison to the Foundation. The Foundation staff takes no part in the Judges’ deliberations, except to verify a submission’s eligibility. In order to be eligible for the Award, a book must be written by an American citizen and published by an American publisher between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. Each panel reads all of the books submitted in their category over the course of the summer. This number typically ranges from 150 titles (Poetry) to upwards of 500 titles (Nonfiction). As of 2013, each panel will now compile a “longlist” of ten titles, to be announced in mid-September. They will then narrow down that list to five Finalists, to be announced in mid-October. They may arrive at these choices using whatever criteria they deem appropriate, as long as they do not conflict with the official Award guidelines. The night before the Awards, each Finalist receives a prize of $1,000, a medal, and a citation from the panel at a private Medal Ceremony. Immediately following the Medal Ceremony, all twenty Finalists read from their nominated books at the Finalists Reading. The four Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature are announced the following evening at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, where each Winner receives $10,000 and a bronze sculpture.