Manning Marable's "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" is among the most high-profile titles on the list. Marable spent 15 years working on the new biography and died just days before its release in April. Another book that made the news was "The Tiger's Wife," the impressive debut novel by young writer Téa Obreht, who just celebrated her 26th birthday.
The nonfiction list has two big historical biographies, the kind of books these prizes often celebrate: Marable's new read on Malcolm X and "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution" by Deborah Baker. Yet it also includes an unusual choice, a biography done in graphic novel form, "Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout" by Lauren Redniss, published by It Books. Rounding out the nonfiction finalists are "The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism" by Deborah Baker and "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern" by Stephen Greenblatt, author of "Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare."
The Young People's Literature finalists that were announced on radio and before a live audience at the Literary Arts Center in Portland were Debby Dahl Edwardson ("My Name Is Not Easy"), Thanhha Lai ("Inside Out and Back Again"), Albert Marrin ("Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy"), Lauren Myracle ("Shine"), and Gary D. Schmidt ("Okay for Now"). The National Book Foundation later announced that "Chime" by Franny Billingsley also was a finalist.
Poet Adrienne Rich, 82, is among the poetry finalists, along with veteran writers Yusef Komunyakaa, Bruce Smith, Carl Phillips and Nikky Finney.
The National Book Foundation will announce the winners at a gala in New York on November 16.
"The Sojurn" by Andrew Krivak, published by Bellevue Literary Press (LA Times review)
"The Tiger's Wife" by Téa Obreht, published by Random House (LA Times review)
"The Buddha in the Attic" by Julie Otsuka, published by Knopf
"Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories" by Edith Pearlman, published by Lookout Books (LA Times review)"Salvage the Bones" by Jesmyn Ward, published by Bloomsbury
"The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism" by Deborah Baker, published by Graywolf Press. (LA Times review)
"Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution" by Mary Gabriel, published by Little, Brown and Co.
"The Swerve: How the World Became Modern" by Stephen Greenblatt, published by W.W. Norton & Co.
"Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" by Manning Marable, published by Viking (LA Times review)"Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout" by Lauren Redniss, published by It Books