The National Book Awards celebrate the best of American literature, aiming to expand its audience and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. The Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau is proud to represent three speakers on the National Book Awards longlist, and one nominee on the shortlist this year. Read more about them below!
2019 National Book Awards Shortlist
Longlisted for the National Book Award in nonfiction, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is a myth-shattering history of Native American resiliency in the face of violence and political maneuvering designed to strip Native people of their culture. Treuer artfully blends history and reportage to present a crucial counter-narrative to the popular understanding of Native American life.
2019 National Book Awards Longlist
The winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his previous book, The Underground Railroad, bestselling author Colson Whitehead cements his reputation as “America’s storyteller” (Time) with the story of two young black boys fighting against the constraints of the Jim Crow south while confined to a brutal school for juvenile delinquents.
The stunning fiction debut from acclaimed poet Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to his mother, a Vietnamese refugee and a brutally honest exploration of language, family, belonging, and the profound power of storytelling.
Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing is a gripping and devastating account of The Troubles in Northern Ireland that provides an intimate perspective on a national conflict, detailing the shocking repercussions of political violence that continue to echo throughout the region today.
Past Winners – Fiction
2016: The Underground Railroad (Pulitzer Prize Winner) (National Book Award Winner) (Oprah's Book Club) - Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead has established himself as one of the most versatile and innovative writers in contemporary literature. The author of eight books, he is a MacArthur fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist.
2014: Redeployment - Phil Klay
United States Marine Corps veteran Phil Klay wowed critics and readers alike with his short story collection Redeployment, which was named “one of the best debuts of the year” (The Oregonian.)
2009: Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann
Hailed as an incomparable storyteller, Colum McCann is an award-winning author whose topics have ranged from the troubles in Northern Ireland, to the effects of 9/11, to the examination of the Roma in Europe.
Past Winners – Non-Fiction
Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo is among the most influential journalists writing about disadvantaged populations. Her New York Times bestseller Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of reporting in Mumbai, exposes one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds with uncompromising clarity and empathy.
2009: The First Tycoon - T.J. Stiles
T. J. Stiles is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The First Tycoon, a biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Custer’s Trials, a biography of George Armstrong Custer. He has served as a historical adviser and on-screen expert for American Experience programs on PBS.
1997: American Sphinx - Joseph J. Ellis
A leading scholar of American history, Joseph J. Ellis is a Pulitzer Prize winner for his biographies of our nation’s earliest presidents. Ellis is a distinguished professor and seasoned speaker who regales audiences with stories of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other U.S. presidents.
2015: - Robin Coste Lewis
Robin Coste Lewis is an electrifying new voice in contemporary poetry. Both tender and arresting in her poems, Lewis is also an astute cultural critic, alert to the complexities of race and the black female voice.
Young People’s Literature Winners
Jacqueline Woodson is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a recipient of the NAACP Image Award, and was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She gives stirring lectures that delve into the inspiration behind her books and explore important issues of race, gender, and bullying.
Rebecca Makkai (Fiction, 2018)
Jacqueline Woodson (Fiction, 2016)
Lauren Groff (Fiction, 2015, 2018)
Emily St. John Mandel (Fiction, 2014)
Junot Díaz (Fiction, 2012)
Téa Obreht (Fiction, 2011)
Lauren Redniss (Nonfiction, 2011)
Peter Carey (Fiction, 2010)
E. Lockhart (Young People’s Literature, 2008)
Jennifer Egan (Fiction, 2001)