Pulitzer Prize winners among National Book Award finalists

Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:15pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A novel set in Nazi-occupied France, a debut collection of short stories and a post-apocalyptic tale are among the finalists announced on Wednesday for the 2014 National Book Awards.

The National Book Foundation revealed the finalists in four categories - fiction, non-fiction, young people's literature and poetry - for the prizes which will be awarded on Nov. 19 in New York.

"One of the things I think stands out is that four of the five books have this civil strife behind them, and I wonder if that is a zeitgeist that is going around in the world of fiction," said Harold Augenbraum, the executive director of the National Book Foundation.

"Three books are set against the background of war, one against medical apocalypse. I think that is very interesting," he added in an interview.

Rabih Alameddine was shortlisted in fiction for "An Unnecessary Woman," his portrait of a reclusive lady living alone in Beirut, along with Phil Klay, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran nominated for "Redeployment," his book of short stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marilynne Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time National Book Award finalist, was selected for "Lila," a book about a young, homeless girl in Iowa.

Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See," a novel set in World War Two and Emily St. John Mandel's "Station Eleven," which follows a theater troupe in the aftermath of a pandemic, complete the five fiction finalists.

In the non-fiction category, Roz Chast is the first cartoonist to be a finalist in an adult category for her memoir, "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?"   Continued...