The Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau would like to congratulate some of our incredible authors who have been both longlisted and named as finalists for the prestigious National Book Award. We are thrilled to send our congratulations to these speakers whose work in fiction, nonfiction, and literature for young readers puts them in the forefront of their fields.
Finalists for the 2018 National Book Award
Lauren Groff – Florida (Fiction)
The author of acclaimed works of fiction, including the 2015 National Book Award finalist Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff’s newest collection of short stories revolve around her adopted home state of Florida. A stellar showcase for Groff’s singular gifts with character, language, and emotion, Groff’s beautiful and bracing stories present tough questions about family. Whether writing about two abandoned girls in the wake of a hurricane or a young woman’s struggle to reconcile her identity with her role as a mother, Groff’s rich and layered writing is something to be savored.
Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award
Tommy Orange– There There (Fiction)
An instant bestseller upon its release, Tommy Orange’s debut novel There There intertwines the story of twelve unforgettable characters, all urban Native Americans preparing to attend the Big Oakland Powwow, each for their own reason. As the plot unfolds and motivations are revealed, Orange deftly lets the humanity in his characters shine through, depicting their fear, grief, and joy in anticipation of this pivotal communal event. Bringing a side of America few have ever seen to life, Orange shows how tradition and heritage intersect with the modern world in ways both simple and unexpected.
Steve Coll – Directorate S (Nonfiction)
Following on the heels of his Pulitzer-prize winning Ghost Wars, Steve Coll returns with the New York Times best-selling Directorate S, which delves into the inner workings of American military, defense, and intelligence organizations as they reckoned with the threat of Al Qaeda and the Taliban following the devastation of 9/11. Coll uncovers covert operations in Afghanistan prior to 9/11, showing how the war quickly spread to Pakistan in ways the US could not have anticipated. Coll’s meticulous research and unparalleled storytelling detail the nuances of a shadowy and multilayered international conflict, creating a comprehensive narrative of just how the US came to be ensnared in an increasingly dangerous and elaborate conflict in South Asia.
Elizabeth Partridge – Boots on the Ground (Young People’s Literature)
The only work of nonfiction to be nominated for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, Elizabeth Partridge’s Boots on the Ground melds archival photography, history, and storytelling to demystify the Vietnam War for readers ready to approach a complex era in American history. Combining photographs from the era with the personal accounts of soldiers, refugees, citizens, and politicians, Boots on the Ground covers the Vietnam War, from protests in the US to guerilla warfare to veterans’ attempts to return to civilian life.