The Dominican-born Junot Díaz, the freshly minted MacArthur “genius,” could soon become one of America’s most decorated “national” authors. His story collection This Is How You Lose Her was named one of the National Book Award fiction finalists, along with Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, Dave Eggers’s A Hologram for the King, as well as Iraq-war debut novelists Kevin Powers’s The Yellow Birds and Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk. The five finalists for nonfiction are Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power, Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the late Anthony Shadid’s memoir House of Stone, Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1945–1956, and Domingo Martínez’s The Boy Kings of Texas, a debut memoir. The poetry finalists are all first-time nominees, and there is a young people’s literature category as well. The winners will be announced during a ceremony on Nov. 14.
Award Tour Julie Jacobson / AP Photo