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Each year, 25 expert judges read hundreds of entries in five categories – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated works and children’s literature – to award the best books of the year.
As of October 5, the National Book Foundation has announced its five 2021 finalists in each genre. On November 17, we will hear the winners at the same time as the Foundation (judges will meet that day to determine the winner). Finalists earn $1,000 and winners receive $10,000.
The competition is fierce: One of the names that made it to this year’s longlist, but not shortlist, is Richard Powers, whose novel “Bewilderment” is a finalist in the race for the Booker Prize (announced Nov. 3) and whose previous work “The Overstory” won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019.