The 2017 National Book Awards

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. Each year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty books, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.

The winners of the National Book Award for 2017, announced November 15, include the following:


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado


The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances Fitzgerald
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean


Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart

The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison
WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae
Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith

Young People’s Literature

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
American Street by Ibi Zoboi

To see the 2017 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.