The 2022 National Book Awards

The 2022 National Book Awards announced their 73rd annual literature winners in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature on November 16th, 2022. After a brief welcome from Padma Lakshmi, the presentation for the Literarian Award was given to Tracie D. Hall by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Following this, Neil Gaiman presented the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters given to Art Spiegelman. Then, with quick remarks from Ruth Dickey, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation and David Steinberger, the Chair of the Board for the National Book Foundation, the winners were announced for each category.


Young People’s Literature

This category was judged by Becky Albertalli, Joseph Bruchac, Lilliam Rivera, and Meghan Dietsche Goel. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the chair of the category judged, as well as presented the finalists and the winner.

The finalists included:

  1. The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill
  2. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
  3. Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice by Dawud Anyabwile, Derrick Barnes, and Tommie Smith
  4. Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee

The winner for the Young People’s 2022 National Book Award went to All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir.

Translated Literature

This category was judged by Nick Buzanski, Veronica Esposito, Rohan Kamicheril, and Russell Scott Valentino. Ann Goldsetin, the chair of this catagory judged and announced the finalists and the winners at the ceremony.

The Finalists Included:

  1. A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse and translated by Damion Searls
  2. Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga and translated by Mark Polizzotti
  3. Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda and translated by Sarah Booker
  4. Scattered All Over The Earth by Yoko Tawada and translated by Margaret Mitsutani

The winner for the Translated Literature 2022 National Book Award went to Seven Empty Houses by Samantha Schweblin and translated by Megan McDowell.


The Poetry category was judged by Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Neil, and Mai Der Vang. Kwame Dawes, the chair of this category judged, as well as presented the finalists and the winner.

The Finalists Included:

  1. Look at This Blue by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
  2. Balladz by Sharon Olds
  3. Best Barbarian by Roger Reeves
  4. The Rupture Tense by Jenny Xie

The winner for the Poetry 2022 National Book Award went to Punks: New & Selected Poems by John Keene.


The Nonfiction category was judged by Carol Anderson, Melissa Febos, Thor Hanson, and Janet Webster Jones. The Chair for Nonfiction, Oscar Villon was also a judge and presented the winners and the finalists at the ceremony for this category.

The Finalists Included:

  1. The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
  2. The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke
  3. Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus by David Quammen
  4. His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa

The winner for the Nonfiction 2022 National Book Award went to South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry.


The Fiction category was judged by Michelle Malonzo, Dana Johnson, Pam Houston, and Brandon Hobson. Ben Fountain, the Chair of the Fiction category announced the finalists as well as the winner during the ceremony.

The Finalists Included:

  1. The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones
  2. The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Jamil Jan Kochai
  3. All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews
  4. The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela

The winner for the Fiction 2022 National Book Award went to The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty.

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