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National Book Award - Fiction

The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prior year, as well as lifetime achievement awards including the "Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" and the "Literarian Award". The purpose of the awards is "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

- National Book Foundation
  1. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

    Cover Image for the book The Adventures of Augie March

    The Adventures of Augie March (1953) is a novel by Saul Bellow. It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression. This picaresque novel is an example of bildungsroman,... - Wikipedia

      
  2. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

    Cover Image for the book All the Pretty Horses

    All the Pretty Horses is a novel by U.S. author Cormac McCarthy published in 1992. Its romanticism (in contrast to the bleakness of McCarthy's earlier work) brought the writer much public attention... - Wikipedia

      
  3. Augustus by John Williams

    Cover Image for the book Augustus

    Augustus tells the story of Augustus, emperor of Rome, from his youth through old age. - Wikipedia

      
  4. Blood Tie by Mary Lee Settle

    Cover Image for the book Blood Tie

      
  5. The Centaur by John Updike

    Cover Image for the book The Centaur

    The Centaur is a 1963 novel by John Updike. It won the National Book Award in 1964. The story concerns George Caldwell, a school teacher, and his son Peter, outside of Alton (i.e., Reading), Pennsy... - Wikipedia

      
  6. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott

    Cover Image for the book Charming Billy

    Billy Lynch's family and friends have gathered at a small Bronx bar. They have come to comfort his widow and to eulogize one of the last great romantics, trading tales of his famous humor, immense ... - Publisher

      
  7. Chimera by John Barth

    Cover Image for the book Chimera

    Chimera is a 1972 novel in the form of three loosely connected novellas by John Barth. The novellas are Dunyazadiad, Perseid and Bellerophoniad, the eponyms of which are Dunyazad, Perseus and Belle... - Wikipedia

      
  8. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

    Cover Image for the book Cold Mountain

    Cold Mountain is a 1997 historical fiction novel by Charles Frazier. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks... - Wikipedia

      
  9. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty

    Cover Image for the book The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

    Stories are as good in themselves and as influential on the aspirations of others as any since Hemingway's. The breadth of Welty's offering is finally most visible not in the variety of types--farc... - Publisher

      
  10. The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter

    Cover Image for the book The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter

    The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter was an anthology of the work of Katherine Anne Porter. The collection of 19 short stories and long stories won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the ... - Wikipedia

      
  11. The Collected Stories of William Faulkner by William Faulkner

    Cover Image for the book The Collected Stories of William Faulkner

    This magisterial collection of short works by Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner reminds readers of his ability to compress his epic vision into narratives as hard and wounding as bullets.... - Inside Flap

      
  12. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    Cover Image for the book The Color Purple

    Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position ... - Wikipedia

      
  13. The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor by Flannery O'Connor

    Cover Image for the book The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor

    The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do n... - Publisher

      
  14. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

    Cover Image for the book The Corrections

    The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid... - Wikipedia

      
  15. A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Cover Image for the book A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories

    The difficulty of getting at the truth about individuals and events is a central theme in this collection of 24 stories. - Fantastic Fiction

      
  16. Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone

    Cover Image for the book Dog Soldiers

    Dog Soldiers' is a 1974 novel by American novelist Robert Stone. The story revolves around journalist John Converse, Merchant Marine sailor Ray Hicks, Converse's wife Marge, and their involvement i... - Wikipedia

      
  17. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

    Cover Image for the book The Echo Maker

    On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister, Karin, his only near kin, returns reluctantly to their h... - Wikipedia

      
  18. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder

    Cover Image for the book The Eighth Day

    In 1962 and 1963, Thornton Wilder spent twenty months in hibernation, away from family and friends, in the Rio Grande border town of Douglas, Arizona. While there, he launched The Eighth Day, a tal... - Publisher

      
  19. Europe Central by William T. Vollmann

    Cover Image for the book Europe Central

    Europe Central takes place in central Europe in the 20th century, examines a vast array of characters, ranging from generals to martyrs, officers to poets, traitors to artists and musicians. It dea... - Wikipedia

      
  20. A Fable by William Faulkner

    Cover Image for the book A Fable

    A Fable is a novel written in 1954 by the American author William Faulkner, which won him both the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award in 1955. Despite these recognitions, however, the novel... - Wikipedia

      
  21. The Field of Vision by Wright Morris

    Cover Image for the book The Field of Vision

    Winner of the National Book Award "Wright Morris seems to me the most important novelist of the American middle generation. Through a large body of work --which, unaccountably, has yet to receive t... - Publisher

      
  22. The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

    Cover Image for the book The Fixer

    The Fixer is a 1966 novel by Bernard Malamud inspired by the true story of Menahem Mendel Beilis, an unjustly imprisoned Jew in Tsarist Russia. The notorious "Beilis trial" of 1913 caused an intern... - Wikipedia

      
  23. A Frolic of His Own by William Gaddis

    Cover Image for the book A Frolic of His Own

    A Frolic of His Own is a novel by William Gaddis. Published in 1994 by Poseidon Press, A Frolic of His Own was Gaddis's fourth novel. It received the American Book Award and the National Book Award... - Wikipedia

      
  24. From Here to Eternity by James Jones

    Cover Image for the book From Here to Eternity

    Diamond Head, Hawaii, 1941. Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is a champion welterweight and a fine bugler. But when he refuses to join the company's boxing team, he gets "the treatment" that may break hi... - Publisher

      
  25. Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien

    Cover Image for the book Going After Cacciato

    This complex novel is set during the Vietnam War and is told from the point of view of the protagonist, Paul Berlin. The story traces the events that ensue after Cacciato, a member of Berlin's squa... - Wikipedia

      
  26. Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth

    Cover Image for the book Goodbye, Columbus

    Goodbye, Columbus (1959) is the title of the first book published by the American novelist Philip Roth, a collection of six stories. In addition to its title novella, set in New Jersey, Goodbye,... - Wikipedia

      
  27. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

    Cover Image for the book Gravity's Rainbow

    The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertake... - Wikipedia

      
  28. The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

    Cover Image for the book The Great Fire

    A Great Writer's Sweeping Story of Men and Women Struggling to Reclaim Their Lives in The Aftermath of World Conflict. The conflagration of her title is the Second World War. In war-torn Asia an... - Publisher

      
  29. The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams

    Cover Image for the book The Hair of Harold Roux

    Aaron Benham--professor, novelist, friend, mentor, family man, and sometime idealist--is supposed to be working on his new novel, The Hair of Harold Roux. But instead, tormented by the chaos of his... - Powell's Books

      
  30. Herzog by Saul Bellow

    Cover Image for the book Herzog

    Herzog is a novel set in 1964, in the United States, and is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man named Moses E. Herzog. He is just emerging from his second divorce, this one particularly acrimo... - Wikipedia

      
  31. In America by Susan Sontag

    Cover Image for the book In America

    In America is a 1999 novel by Susan Sontag which won the National Book Award in 2000. Although it is fiction, it is based upon the true story of the Polish actress Helena Modjeska— called Maryna Z... - Wikipedia

      
  32. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

    Cover Image for the book Invisible Man

    The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx... - Wikipedia

      
  33. J R by William Gaddis

    Cover Image for the book J R

    J R tells the story of the eponymous 11-year-old boy who obscures his identity through payphone calls and postal money orders in order to parlay penny stock holdings into a fortune on paper. The no... - Wikipedia

      
  34. The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud

    Cover Image for the book The Magic Barrel

    The Magic Barrel is a collection of thirteen short stories written by Bernard Malamud and published in 1958. It won the 1959 National Book Award for fiction. The stories included are The First Sev... - Wikipedia

      
  35. The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren

    Cover Image for the book The Man with the Golden Arm

    The Man with the Golden Arm is a novel by Nelson Algren that recounts the life of "Frankie Machine", a card-dealer in an illicit poker game being run not far from the tenement in which he lives. Ma... - Wikipedia

      
  36. Mating by Norman Rush

    Cover Image for the book Mating

    Mating is a novel by American author Norman Rush. It is a first-person narrative of an unnamed American anthropology graduate student in Botswana around 1980. It focuses on her relationship with Ne... - Wikipedia

      
  37. Middle Passage by Charles R. Johnson

    Cover Image for the book Middle Passage

    Middle Passage is a 1990 historical novel by Charles R. Johnson about the final voyage of an illegal American slave ship. Set in 1830, it speaks of a freed slave named Rutherford Calhoun. The novel... - Wikipedia

      
  38. Morte D'Urban by J. F. Powers

    Cover Image for the book Morte D'Urban

    The hero of J.F. Powers's comic masterpiece is Father Urban, a man of the cloth who is also a man of the world. Charming, with an expansive vision of the spiritual life and a high tolerance for mor... - Publisher

      
  39. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

    Cover Image for the book The Moviegoer

    The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stockbroker in post-war New Orleans. The decline of Southern traditions, the problems of his family and his traumatic experiences in the Korea... - Wikipedia

      
  40. Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow

    Cover Image for the book Mr. Sammler's Planet

    Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City, is a "registrar of madness," a refined and civilized being caught among p... - Wikipedia

      
  41. The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck

    Cover Image for the book The News from Paraguay

    A historical epic that tells an unusual love story, The News from Paraguay offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of nineteenth-century Paraguay, a largely untouched wilderness where Europeans and North A... - Publisher

      
  42. Paco's Story by Larry Heinemann

    Cover Image for the book Paco's Story

    When incoming fire lights up the sky over the good old boys at Fire Base Harriet in Vietnam, the tough soldiers just look at each other and settle in, certain that the nearly 100 of them will die. ... - Publisher's Weekly

      
  43. Paris Trout by Pete Dexter

    Cover Image for the book Paris Trout

    Paris Trout, an unrepentant racist in 1949 Georgia. a greedy and paranoid shopkeeper who murders the sister of a black man who refuses to repay Trout’s IOU. When Trout is arrested for the crime, he... - Wikipedia

      
  44. Plains Song by Wright Morris

    Cover Image for the book Plains Song

    This 1981 National Book Award winner links three generations of Midwestern women to a form of unison singing in unmeasured time known as plainsong. - Publisher's Weekly

      
  45. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

    Cover Image for the book Rabbit Is Rich

    Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat... - Wikipedia

      
  46. Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth

    Cover Image for the book Sabbath's Theater

    Mickey Sabbath is an unproductive, out-of-work, former puppeteer with a strong affinity for whores, adultery, and the casual sexual encounter. Sabbath takes great pleasure in his status as the (pro... - Wikipedia

      
  47. Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen

    Cover Image for the book Shadow Country

    Shadow Country is actually a trilogy of books about Florida sugar cane planter and outlaw Edgar Watson all collected in one volume, re-edited, and retitled. Set in Florida's Ten Thousand Islands re... - Wikipedia

      
  48. Ship Fever and Other Stories by Andrea Barrett

    Cover Image for the book Ship Fever and Other Stories

    The elegant short fictions gathered hereabout the love of science and the science of love are often set against the backdrop of the nineteenth century. Interweaving historical and fictional charact... - Boston Globe

      
  49. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

    Cover Image for the book The Shipping News

    The story centers on Quoyle, a newspaper worker from upstate New York whose father had emigrated from Newfoundland. Shortly after the suicide of his parents, Quoyle's unfaithful and abusive wife Pe... - Wikipedia

      
  50. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

    Cover Image for the book So Long, See You Tomorrow

    On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end. In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Awa... - Publisher

      
  51. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

    Cover Image for the book Sophie's Choice

    It concerns a young American Southerner, an aspiring writer, who befriends the Jewish Nathan Landau and his beautiful lover Sophie, a Polish (but non-Jewish) survivor of the Nazi concentration camp... - Wikipedia

      
  52. Spartina by John Casey

    Cover Image for the book Spartina

    A classic tale of a man, a boat, and a storm, Spartina is the lyrical and compassionate story of Dick Pierce, a commercial fisherman along the shores of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. A kind, s... - Publisher

      
  53. The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner

    Cover Image for the book The Spectator Bird

    The Spectator Bird is a 1976 novel by Wallace Stegner. The book tells the story of retired literary agent Joe Allston, who receives a postcard from an old friend, a Danish countess named Astrid. Jo... - Wikipedia

      
  54. Steps by Jerzy Kosinski

    Cover Image for the book Steps

    From the esteemed author of "The Painted Bird" and "Being There" comes this award-winning novel about one man's sexual and sensual experiences, the fabric from which the shape of his life has been ... - Publisher

      
  55. The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

    Cover Image for the book The Stories of John Cheever

    The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "Th... - Wikipedia

      
  56. Ten North Frederick by John O'Hara

    Cover Image for the book Ten North Frederick

    Ten North Frederick is a 1955 novel by John O'Hara. It focuses on the life of an ambitious American named Joe Chapin, who desires to become President of the United States. The novel tells Chapin's ... - Wikipedia

      
  57. Them by Joyce Carol Oates

    Cover Image for the book Them

    Them explores the complex struggles of American life through three down-on-their-luck characters—Loretta, Maureen and Jules—who are attempting to reach normality and the American dream through marr... - Wikipedia

      
  58. Three Junes by Julia Glass

    Cover Image for the book Three Junes

    Three Junes follows the McLeods, a Scottish family, throughout their lives and relationships. Its members are Paul and Maureen, and their sons: Fenno, and twins David and Dennis. At the opening of ... - Wikipedia

      
  59. Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

    Cover Image for the book Tree of Smoke

    Tree of Smoke is about a man named Skip Sands who joins the CIA in 1965, and begins working in Vietnam during the American involvement there. The time frame of the novel is from 1963 to 1970, with ... - Wikipedia

      
  60. Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories by Ellen Gilchrist

    Cover Image for the book Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories

      
  61. Waiting by Ha Jin

    Cover Image for the book Waiting

    Waiting: a Novel is a novel by award-winning author Ha Jin. It received the 1999 National Book Award. Lin Kong (the protagonist), a soldier in the Revolutionary Army, finds himself waiting 18 years... - Wikipedia

      
  62. The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever

    Cover Image for the book The Wapshot Chronicle

    The Wapshot Chronicle is a 1957 novel by John Cheever about an eccentric family who live in a Massachusetts fishing village. The book won the National Book Award in 1958, and was later followed by ... - Wikipedia

      
  63. The Waters of Kronos by Conrad Richter

    Cover Image for the book The Waters of Kronos

    From the time of its first publication in 1960, Conrad Richter's The Waters of Kronos sparked lively debate about the extent to which its story of a belated return to childhood scenes mirrored key ... - Amazon.com

      
  64. White Noise by Don DeLillo

    Cover Image for the book White Noise

    Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle... - Wikipedia

      
  65. The World According to Garp by John Irving

    Cover Image for the book The World According to Garp

    The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica... - Wikipedia

      
  66. World's Fair by E. L. Doctorow

    Cover Image for the book World's Fair

    The astonishing novel of a young boy's life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck ... - Publisher

      

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