Today the National Book Foundation has announced the Fiction Longlist.


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By |2018-09-14T12:36:30+00:00September 14th, 2018|Categories: News|3 Comments


  1. David September 14, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Two small comments: (1) If I counted right, 3 of the 10 books are collections of short stories. I always find it a bit odd that novels and short story collections get lumped together in one award. The National Book Awards have so many (and poetry gets its own category) so splitting these two types of books would make sense.

    (2) I could not help but notice that on the covers of 5 of the 7 novels the words “a novel” appear in the middle of the cover. Are they worried people won’t know the book is a novel if it doesn’t say so on the cover? I wonder how long this has been a trend.

  2. David September 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Update: Zooming in on the cover of Where The Dead Sit Talking shows that the words “a novel” appear in the feather. So make that 6 out of 7. And 2 of the collections of stories have the word “stories” on the cover. I guess they are worried people will be confused about the two types of books.

  3. Lee Monks September 14, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    David: it’s an important distinction, although you’d think opening up the book and having a little read, or maybe even already knowing what the book was before you bought it…I can think of many people who, had they bought a book of stories, thinking what they had was a novel, would be outraged. The very idea! That someone might waste their time on stories! These same people tell me there just isn’t enough ‘payoff’ for the ‘investment’ in a story.

    “I get involved in these people, and then it’s all over!”

    I guess the publishing houses feel they have to pander to ‘readers’ as well as ‘book lovers’. For me, if I pick a book off the shelf and it looks interesting and well written, that promises enough of a ‘journey’ for me. I’m in. If it turns out I’ve got some stories, wonderful. Or a travelogue, or a memoir, or whatever.

    Short version: I see what you mean David.

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