Press Releases

NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Partners with National Book Foundation to Shine a Light On NYC's Book Publishing Industry

20 of 25 Finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards Published or Written in NYC


NEW YORK – The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) is proud to announce a partnership with the National Book Foundation to spotlight NYC's role as the preeminent home of the book publishing industry. NYC's ecosystem of publishing houses, talented authors, iconic bookstores, and libraries has long fostered the creation of some of the world's most renowned literature. To that end, MOME congratulates our New York City finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature and Young People's Literature categories. In total, 20 of the 25 Finalist titles were written or published in NYC, including all 5 finalists for Fiction. The winners in all categories will be announced live at the exclusively virtual National Book Awards Ceremony on November 17.

Among the Finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards were works by New York publishing houses including Bloomsbury Publishing, Feminist Press at the City University of New York, Macmillan Publishers, New Directions, New York Review Books, Nightboat Books, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, World Editions, and W. W. Norton & Company.

Some of the authors with a deep connection to New York City include Robert Jones, Jr., whose debut novel The Prophets is a Finalist for Fiction, Desiree C. Bailey, whose collection What Noise Against the Cane is a Finalist for Poetry, and Grace M. Cho, who is a Finalist for Nonfiction for Tastes Like War: A Memoir. Several authors teach at higher-education institutions in New York City. You can learn more about the Finalists at

The National Book Awards, presented by the National Book Foundation, are considered one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes, and have taken place in New York City since its inaugural event at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in 1950. Throughout its history, the National Book Awards have repeatedly honored renowned authors who live and work in New York, such as Robert Caro and Jacqueline Woodson.

"Congratulations to the talented New York publishers and authors who have been named finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards," said the Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. "New York City is proud to be the global center of book publishing--home to world-renowned publishing houses, large scale book distribution centers, small, independent booksellers, and some of the most influential writing talents in the world."

"New Yorkers are voracious readers, and we are excited to connect readers from across the city—and around the country—with this year's National Book Awards titles, books that will entertain and educate, challenge and comfort. Books that they will read on the subway, learn about from their local library, and purchase from their neighborhood independent bookstore," said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. "Books are a critical part of what makes our city and world vibrant, and we are delighted to celebrate the authors and publishers (many with a connection to New York City!) recognized this year."

Following is a list of the 2021 National Book Awards finalists, written or published in NYC:

Fiction (5 out of 5 Finalists)

Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land
Scribner / Simon & Schuster

Lauren Groff, Matrix
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Laird Hunt, Zorrie
Bloomsbury Publishing

Robert Jones, Jr., The Prophets
G. P. Putnam's Sons / Penguin Random House

Jason Mott, Hell of a Book
Dutton / Penguin Random House

Nonfiction (4 out of 5 Finalists)

Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
Random House / Penguin Random House

Grace M. Cho, Tastes Like War: A Memoir
Feminist Press at the City University of New York

Nicole Eustace, Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America
Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company

Tiya Miles, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
Random House / Penguin Random House

Poetry (3 out of 5 Finalists)

Desiree C. Bailey, What Noise Against the Cane
Yale University Press

Martín Espada, Floaters
W. W. Norton & Company

Jackie Wang, The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void
Nightboat Books

Translated Literature (4 out of 5 Finalists)

Ge Fei, Peach Blossom Paradise
Translated by Canaan Morse
Translated from the Chinese
New York Review Books

Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World
Translated by Adrian Nathan West
Translated from the Spanish
New York Review Books

Samar Yazbek, Planet of Clay
Translated by Leri Price
Translated from the Arabic
World Editions

Nona Fernández, The Twilight Zone
Translated by Natasha Wimmer
Translated from the Spanish
Graywolf Press

Young People's Literature (4 out of 5 Finalists)

Shing Yin Khor, The Legend of Auntie Po
Kokila / Penguin Random House

Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kyle Lukoff, Too Bright to See
Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Amber McBride, Me (Moth)
Feiwel and Friends / Macmillan Publishers